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Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Front Page -

That plas­tic straw in your morn­ing iced cof­fee or lunchtime soda? It’s not so in­no­cent. Amer­i­cans use more than 500 mil­lion straws ev­ery day. Many end up in the ocean (along with plas­tic bags), where sea life ac­ci­den­tally con­sumes them. Nearly 90 per­cent of the de­bris in oceans is plas­tic.

To bat­tle the prob­lem, the Earth Day Net­work, the non­profit be­hind Earth Day, is fo­cus­ing on plas­tic pol­lu­tion in 2018. Go to to join the fight. And check out these states for in­spi­ra­tion.

In with sup­port from the en­vi­ron­men­tal group Lonely Whale, Seat­tle has be­come the na­tion’s first ma­jor city to ban the use of plas­tic straws. By July, the city won’t al­low restau­rants or other busi­nesses to of­fer them, a

earth­day.org Wash­ing­ton,

move ex­pected to save 1 mil­lion straws a month. Lonely Whale’s Straw­less in Seat­tle cam­paign and #StopSuck­ing so­cial me­dia chal­lenge urge other big cities to get on board.

Plas­tic bags are the most com­mon beach lit­ter in af­ter cig­a­rette butts. Stu­dents in a Univer­sity of Delaware master’s sem­i­nar called De­bat­ing Marine Con­ser­va­tion cre­ated a pro­gram called Busi­nesses for Bet­ter Bags. The stu­dents part-

lone­ly­whale.org Delaware

nered with the Fash­ion and Ap­parel Stud­ies de­part­ment and de­signed four re­us­able bags for lo­cal busi­nesses to sell. The hope is the move­ment will go statewide.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Vir­ginia Tech de­ter­mined to live a zero-waste life­style, Gabriella Ja­cob­sen, now 23, de­vel­oped an eco-friendly re­us­able tote bag made from 100 per­cent or­ganic cot­ton. It’s dec­o­rated with low-im­pact dyes and sewn in a fair-trade fac­tory that em­ploys Amer­i­cans with dis­abil­i­ties. A per­cent­age of the prof­its from the sale of the bags, made by her com­pany, Green Up­ward, goes to Ar­ca­dia, an Alexandria,

or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes sus­tain­able food sys­tems.

lewe­s­plas­ticbag project.wee­bly.com Vir­ginia, greenup­ward.com

Here’s a win-win: EcoVet, in

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