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Bag Bans Will Keep Harmful Plastic Out of the Ocean
Around the world, people dump about 20 million tons of plastic into the ocean every year, much of it in the form of flyaway plastic bags.  This waste doesn’t get magically swallowed by the ocean--it lingers indefinitely, posing a threat to marine life and to human health.

Picking up garbage in the ocean is an expensive proposition, so the smart solution is to stop this waste at its source. That’s why California—with its 840-mile coastline and a 13-billion-bag-a-year habit, just became the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags.

Plastic in the ocean doesn’t disappear; it can stay intact for decades in the ocean, where they can hurt marine life as well as human health. Whales and turtles mistake floating bags for squid or jellyfish, and seabirds, like albatross, feed bits of plastic to their chicks—eating plastic can lead to starvation, malnutrition, or internal injuries. Some plastics contain toxic substances that can kill or harm reproduction in fish, shellfish, or any marine life. debris


 
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Ground Water May Contain Decades Old Contamination - Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two plant nutrients in sewage and fertilizer that foul the bay, feeding its algae blooms and "dead zones." Both are washed off the land into streams whenever it rains, but nitrogen dissolves in water, so it also soaks down into the soil, ultimately reaching the water table.


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