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Juneau group raises environmental awareness on Earth Day
Published: 04/22/2010 17:07:30
Today is Earth day, and one local Juneau organization is using the opportunity to spread awareness about the harmful effects of disposable plastic bags on the environment.

Turning The Tides is a local volunteer group that promotes awareness and environmental conservation of the oceans.

Cachet Garrett, a Volunteer with Turning The Tides explained This years Earth day event is very cool. We are wrapping up downtown Juneau in ropes made of plastic bags.

The group has spent the last week making the ropes out of thousands of plastic bags.

Current estimates are that the average Juneau family uses about 400 plastic bags every year. And about 1 million bags are used every minute worldwide.

Garrett elaborates Ultimately what we want people to do, is understand that about 85% of the bags that are used end up in the ocean. And when they are floating in the ocean, they stay in the top water column there, and all the sea-life that swim around dont know that they arent food and they consume them. And then that enters the food chain. And humans catch a fish that has maybe eaten a piece of this, and those chemicals leach into the body, and were eating them.

40 business participated in the display today, with strings of bags stretched across store-fronts on Seward, Front, and Franklin Streets.

Bags are not the only concern; plastic bottles are also a huge concern. And when you get out into the ocean, and see the Gyre. Theres a couple of companies that we know that do the research, and they see that there is so much plastic in the ocean; sometimes as much as 40 times more plastic than plankton. It comes from all kinds of plastic; lighters, flip-flops, toothbrushes, baby-bottles, pacifiers; any kind of plastic. It somehow manages to find its way into the ocean and is causing all this trouble. said Garrett

By: Mikko Wilson - mikko@kath.v