The Current: May 25th Edition

Deuces to Plastic Straws, NYC!  

Did You Know, Bro...plastic straws are one of the hardest types of plastic to recycle, yet they are so easy to replace! Alternatives to plastic straws include paper (aloha, SeaStraws!), bamboo, metal, or glass.

Councilman Rafael Espinal is making waves on the east coast by introducing legislation to eliminate single-use plastic straws in all bars and restaurants in NYC.

This bill compliments the citywide campaign, Give a Sip, which supports legislation to stop plastic pollution. It already has 65 partners - including notable restaurateurs like Tom Colicchio - who have signed the campaign.

And it is not just limited to New York! Similar campaigns and discussions about plastic straw bans have been swimming around in Washington and California.

For a deeper dive into this new legislation, check out this front page Daily News article!

National Geographic Launches Plastic or Planet Initiative

National Geographic has a totally tubular multi-year plan to protect our planet from the dangers of plastic waste. Here are some of the plans in the pipeline:

  • Educational Campaigns - through the creation of educational activity toolkits designed for students and teachers.
  • A Consumer Pledge - gives dudes and dudettes the chance to learn how to reduce plastic in their everyday life. Take the pledge for yourself here!
  • Research Initiatives - scientific grant programs and the April 2018 partnership with Sky Ocean Ventures to find new innovations in ocean conservation.
  • Corporate Commitment to Reduce Plastic Dependency - set 2019 goal to switch from plastic to paper packaging when mailing all National Geographic magazines around the world! 

Surfrider Sues U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission  

Who is USIBWC, Brah?

USIBWC is a federal government agency on a mission to find solutions for sanitation and water quality along the border.

What Are They Doing Wrong?

USIBWC has been violating the Clean Water Act for years. They are letting raw sewage, chemical pollutants, and plastic pollution to flow into the Tijuana River Valley, San Diego and further into the Pacific Ocean (which is easily among the top five oceans of all time!). One of their recent wipe-outs was in February 2017, when failure in the Mexican sewage system led to contamination that spread along the Californian coast and many beaches closed. 450 days later…and these beaches still have no long-term solutions to this sewage problem!

So is Anyone Looking Out for the Ocean, Dude?

The Surfrider Foundation cares! Surfrider is an organization run by people who dedicate their lives to protecting the ocean. On May 15th, 2018 they decided to splash some water in USIBWC’s face by sending them a 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue. If USIBWC cannot answer to their violations, Surfrider will be able to file a complaint in federal district court and have a better chance of making long lasting change.

Wanna Surf the Internet for More Info?
Click here to read about the full press release on this tide changing lawsuit.



Echo Chen