Our friends over at the Ocean Blue Project spend an immense amount of time picking up plastic on the coast. Now they’re proposing new legislation that would direct money collected from the Oregon plastic grocery bag tax, to a fund that would help beach-cleanup efforts. They also believe this money could be used to create thousands of jobs.
Why doesn’t Ocean Blue want to focus their efforts on banning the plastic bag in the entire state, following Corvallis’ example? Unfortunately, many people love plastic and it’s difficult to get an entire city to ban its use. Instead, Ocean Blue wants to simply redirect the cost of bags to their cleanup efforts.
So far, Ocean Blue has relied on volunteers, but they really want to pay people for all the time they dedicate to this cause. If Richard Arterbury and his team can collect just over 80,000 signatures and get their measure on the 2018 ballot, bag money would be used to pay people to pick up plastic and other trash that pollutes our water. Starting next month, they’ll be collecting signatures and meeting with the community to gain support in Bend, Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, and Portland.
Time will tell if people vote “yes” to having money collected from the sale of carry-out bags redirected to a beach cleanup fund. No matter what, Ocean Blue will be making our coasts cleaner, one bag at a time.
For more information about the Ocean Blue Project visit: http://www.oceanblueproject.
By Anika Lautenbach