Monday, December 15, 2008

December 18 “Day without a Bag” Asks Shoppers to Give to the Environment

December 18 “Day without a Bag” Asks Shoppers to Give to the Environment
Volunteers Give Reusable Bags and Get Shoppers to Say No to Plastic Bags

For Immediate Release

Contact: Eli Saddler, Director of OceanHealth.Org, 415-342-7497,
Wes Womack, President of San Francisco Surfrider , 510-717-7204,

San Francisco, CA, December 18, 2008
– On Thursday, December 18, the San Francisco Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and OceanHealth.Org will be asking Christmas shoppers to participate in “A Day without a Bag.” “A Day without a Bag” is becoming a holiday tradition as environmental groups ask shoppers to say “no” when offered plastic bags and to remember to bring their own bags when shopping. To mark “A Day without a Bag,” volunteers will be handing out hundreds of reusable shopping bags to shoppers from noon until about 2 PM on Thursday, December 18, at Union Square in San Francisco. Volunteers will be distributing reusable bags donated by Surfrider and Whole Foods Markets as an alternative to single-use plastic bags.

“Many people remember reusable bags for grocery shopping, but this day is a reminder to holiday shoppers to bring bags when going to any store,” said Eli Saddler, Director of OceanHealth.Org and Surfrider volunteer. “Holiday shoppers can give back to the environment by saying, ‘no,’ when offered single-use plastic bags.”

Although San Francisco passed a plastic bag ban for grocery stores, more still needs to be done to educate consumers about reducing their consumption of single-use plastic bags. Worldwide, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed annually, which means that a million plastic bags are being used each minute. Annually, a million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die globally due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastics.

“Bags and other plastic items clog our beaches with pollution and harm wildlife,” said chapter president, Wes Womack. “It is great that we live in a city that bans plastic bags on some level, but we can all do more to cut down on single-use plastic items to reduce pollution on our beaches and in our ocean.”

Surfrider will be holding its next monthly beach cleanup at Stairwell 17 on Ocean Beach this coming Sunday, December 21, from 10 AM until 12 PM. Volunteers can give back to the oceans by helping remove man-made debris from the beaches, some of which is currently be gathered for art projects. For more information on this and other monthly beach cleanups, people can visit Surfrider’s website (

Surfrider and OceanHealth.Org are promoting “December 18 – A Day without a Bag” online, also ( In an effort to reach as many people as possible from around the world, the organizations hope that people will get the word and learn more about eliminating plastic bags and other items.

People can learn more about the event and its history at Heal the Bay's website (

# # #

About the San Francisco Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation: SF Surfrider is a volunteer organization of surfers and ocean enthusiasts that promotes environmental quality of our beaches and oceans. The San Francisco Chapter is one of many local chapters of the international nonprofit organization, the Surfrider Foundation, based in San Clemente, CA. Surfrider Foundation’s San Francisco Chapter holds bi-monthly beach cleanups at Ocean Beach; cleanup times can be found on their website:

About OceanHealth.Org: OceanHealth.Org is a nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, which works to promote ocean conservation and public health protection through education, advocacy, and science.