Category: Building Community

10/10/10 Community Think Tank

Community Think Tank: The Plastic Bag Challenge

part of the international 10/10/10 “Global Work Party” organized by 350.org

The California State Senate voted against banning single-use plastic bags in California (SB1998) this summer. Yet the problem of plastic bag pollution remains.

Transition Culver City facilitated a community conversation to gather information and work toward a solution to the plastic bag dilemma. This lively discussion forum for thinking collectively about local solutions for our pollution, waste, oil dependency and ailing watershed had 50 participants, including several children who helped to create a temporary art installation out of plastic bags.

Photo by Jonathan Levy

Participants were urged to bring used single-use grocery bags for the art piece, in exchange for hand-made re-usable bags.

Community-generated solutions included:
– proposing a Culver City municipal plastic bag ban
– initiating a “buy-cott” or “carrot mob” to motivate businesses to discontinue offering single-use plastic bags
– following Ireland’s “Plas-Tax” model
– replacing plastics with biodegradable materials
– reducing consumption altogether
– starting campaign to eliminate plastic bags from our local Farmer’s Market
– putting pressure on mega-companies such as Target and Wal-Mart to stop using plastic bags

There has been good news since our event:

On November 16th, the L.A. County Supervisors voted to ban single-use plastic bags and charge 10¢ for paper bags in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. They also approved an Environmental Impact Report encompassing the entire county, which will make it easier for incorporated cities like Culver City to pass bans of their own. Culver City activists present at the hearing agreed to keep the pressure on the city to act swiftly on the matter.

See our video of the event here: 10/10/10 Community Think Tank