“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
After a long hard-fought battle by the many residents of Huntington Beach and surrounding towns, the City Council decided with a six to one vote that they will begin the process to repeal the bag ban. While there were many solid arguments made on both sides, in my opinion the better argument came from the group supporting the ordinance.
The Surfrider Foundation was one of the more prominent proponents of this ban and provided some really valuable information, including the measurable impact they have had on the community. One of the speakers even went as far as to break down the actual dollar amount that they have saved the city of Huntington Beach, much like the 50/50® figures Coastal Playground provides to its customers. With an average of 200 to 300 volunteers per cleanup, and a frequency of every other week, they are literally saving the city of Huntington Beach thousands upon thousands of dollars, a cost that otherwise would have been at the tax payer’s expense.
And their convincing argument didn’t stop with measurable impact. They also explained that there is an impact that cannot be so easily measured: awareness.
Now, I know this doesn’t address the whole situation surrounding the issue of an overreaching government taking away plastic bags. However, it does shed light on the amount of money required to remove waste being generated by not only plastic bags, but also plastic bottles, styrofoam take-away containers, and cigarette butts, to name a few. At the end of the day, the bag ban saves the tax payer money — there is no question about it, and regardless of your political leaning, saving money is something everyone can get behind.
Therefore, the question is: Are we going to leave the burden of coming up with creative solutions to our children? Or are we going to set a good example and do it now? If you ask me, I think it is up to us to find creative solutions to these problems before future generations have to pay the price.
For more information, be sure to read the recent entry on Coastal Playground’s environmental blog.