Plastic Free Towns
WHAT IS A PLASTIC FREE TOWN?
Plastic Free Towns are a part of the PPC network of communities around the globe and offer tools to support their efforts to eliminate disposable plastic and to measurably reduce their overall plastic footprint. In partnership with local organizations, PPC follows three steps:
1. Audit of common sources of plastic pollution in the community. These sources vary significantly between geographies, but include plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, cups, utensils and a stream of disposable plastic products.
2. Evaluation and identification of viable, locally sourced alternatives to the sorces of plastic pollution.
3. Develop a plan to reduce plastic pollution by incorporating a measurement and a reporting mechanism which includes community outreach and engagement, support for locally sourced low-carbon footprint alternatives and long term monitoring.
How to start a Bag Ban in your town.
To start a movement to eliminate plastic bags, we believe that each community has the right and obligation to decide the best way to do so. Below we have listed some resources.
Step 1: Educate yourself on the dangers of plastic bags.
- California-based Heal the Bay has compiled a wealth of information about the effect of plastic bags on ecosystems and human health.
- PlasticBagLaws.org is an excellent source of information for organizing and supporting plastic bag bans in your community.
- Green Cities California’s Master Environmental Assessment also summarizes existing studies on the environmental impacts of single use plastic, paper, compostable and reusable bags, as well as the impacts of policy options such as fees and bans on bags.
- Californians Against Waste .
Step 2: Build the local movement and get citizens on board with the idea.
- Host a screening of the informative documentary Bag It or Plastic Paradise as a way to get people together to talk about why a single-use bag ban might be a good idea.
- Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Public Service Announcement”Buried in Plastic” (endorsed for use by the Ad Council); and other PPC YouTube channel PSA’s and videos are available to share. Encourage your local network to run the ad as a way to further bolster community support.
- For more ideas and to learn about community organizing, check out Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics campaign and ChicoBag’s Advocacy Toolkit.
Step 3: Connect with others working to ban the bag.
- The Clean Seas Coalition has worked on many of the successful recent bans passed in California and shares a lot of useful information on its site.
- Plastic Free Times features an interactive map of proposed and successful plastic bag bans worldwide. Use it to find others working on plastic reduction in your country or local area.
- ChicoBag hosts a similar map to help you find successful ordinances near you.
Step 4: Study successful ordinances.
Hundreds of bag bans have been passed throughout the world. We recommend reading through some of the model ordinances out there, including:
- San Francisco’s bag ban
- Marin County’s single-use bag ordinance
- Monterey’s ban on polysterene take-out containers (Ch. 14, article 3).
The website Plasticbaglaws.org also documents a host of other legislative efforts and useful links.
Step 5: Write to friends and local businesses you support.
It’s amazing how effective a simple letter can be.
- Educate friends and local businesses and encourage them to join you in banning the bag.
- Sample letters you can copy and paste are available here.
Step 6: Contact your local representatives.
- Write to or call your mayor, city council members, or state representatives to voice your support for a bag ordinance and encourage other like-minded members of your community to do the same.
- You can start a free petition to rally support and find contact info for your local representatives on your city government’s website.
- Contact information for state representatives is available here.
Step 7: Keep us posted!
We will happily promote your efforts and celebrate your success. Simply comment here or on our Facebook page and we’ll help you get the word out.