An environmental group has returned from another trip into the debris field in the North Pacific, where it found that home-grown garbage — not tsunami wreckage — is forming the bulk of the floating mess.
A proposed ban on plastic bags will be submitted to the Port Townsend City Council for discussion and possible approval in June. The potential ban — based on one approved by the city of Bainbridge Island in April — was discussed at a meeting of the city’s Special Projects Committee on Wednesday. The bags that would be subject to the ban are plastic bags with handles that are given out by retailers at the cash register. Plastic-bag ban proposal to go to Port Townsend council
Volunteer Brown Bag Lunch—Tuesday, June 29, noon to about 1pm, Marine Exhibit classroom. Our volunteer brown bag lunches are like ‘continuing ed’ and ‘party’ wrapped into one. Jen Kingfisher will give an update on the plastics projects, and volunteer Rachel Gaspers will talk about the flotsam exhibit on the dock. There will be time for questions, general volunteer announcements, and socializing. Bring your lunch, (microwave is available) we’ll provide drinks and cookies. RSVP requested but not required.
From the NW Straits Commission June Newsletter:
A dynamic group of over 70 field volunteers gathered at Fort Worden in May for the Citizen Science Summit on Plastic Pollution in the Salish Sea, hosted by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and co-sponsored by the Northwest Straits Commission. Since 2008, these and other committed citizen scientists around the region have sampled beach sediments at 15 sites to study tiny fragments of plastic (known as microplastics) in the sand. Early results of the Center’s project provide shocking numbers: an estimated six metric tons of microplastics, plus 3.4 tons of glass, cigarette butts and other debris, have washed up on Puget Sound beaches. Dr. Joel Baker, an expert on chemical pollutants at the University of Washington/Tacoma, served as the event’s keynote speaker. For more information on the summit and the microplastics project, contact Jen Kingfisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.