Tuesday, 04 November 2014
Contents: - Local Events - French bag ban - BLUE - DEMA
Hello fellow ocean lovers!
This month past month was a busy one for us! On Saturday, 11 October, we participated in the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. This was our second year there, and we were honored to be invited back. The following week, we could be found at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary celebrating Sharktoberfest with our colleagues Shark Stewards and other sharky folks. Special thanks go to our volunteers and interns (Kelly, Tina, and Quentin), and to our newest board member, Brenna, for staffing our tables and sharing the joy of our work with all the visitors.
French bag ban
We're proud to report some exciting news from France.
You may recall that last year (04 November 2013) the European Commission passed a directive obliging EU member states to pass regulations to reduce single-use plastic bag consumption, using incentive pricing, taxes, or other economic tools.
This past month, on 11 October, the French National Assembly passed a large collection of bills as part of its energetic transition and climate change act. The act passed with a comfortable majority vote, and includes some very exciting changes.
Among them is a proposal to ban single-use plastic bags throughout the country as of January 2016. What makes this proposal particularly unique and groundbreaking is that it addresses ALL single-use plastic bags, including produce bags. Only paper or compostable bags will be permitted, and the bio-based requirements for compostable bag source materials will increase over the years.
This will help reduce both manufacturing waste and litter that single-use plastic materials generate, and will put an end to the 5 billion single-use plastic carryout bags and the 12 billion thin plastic bags used every year in France.
Furthermore, this act seeks to phase out oxo-degradable (aka "biodegradable") bags, which consumers often mistake for nature-friendly. In reality, degradable bags simply crumble into tinier and tinier pieces, but still maintain their chemical integrity.
Another exciting component of this act is that it also addresses single-use plastic utensils; non-compostable single-use utensils will be forbidden starting in 2020.
We are excited that the movement to phase out single-use plastic bags is progressing around the world. By passing this law, France is joining the growing list of countries that have already said no to single-use plastic bags or passed local legislation to phase them out.
This law is expected to move forward to a national Senate vote next February after being heard in the economic affairs and sustainable development Senate committees.
We're thrilled that the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit is happening once more.
Four years ago, BLUE raised the bar for film festivals and conservation gatherings alike, and every time we attend one of these events, we can't help but look forward to the next one.
This year, the event is taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida, and while we're sad that it's not taking place in our proverbial backyard, we're honored that our Executive Director has been invited to speak.
BLUE opened yesterday, and continues through 09 November. It is so more than just a film festival - it is also a conservation summit where you'll have an opportunity to meet industry leaders, luminaries, filmmakers, oceanographers, and researchers.
For more information, to register for the Summit, or to purchase tickets and passes for the Film Festival, visit: http://blueoceanfilmfestival.org
COARE participates at DEMA show
The dive industry's largest annual convention, the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show, will begin in a few weeks. This is COARE's seventh year participating at the show, and the sixth with our own booth. We see this as a terrific opportunity to get the word out about the wonderful things we have in the works at COARE, and to garner support from the expected 10,000 attendees at this year's show.
We will be at the show (which runs from November 19th to November 22nd at the Las Vegas Convention Center) to share information about our successes, and to provide information about the exciting things we are doing now and what's in store for the future. Come visit us at booth #3246!
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Wishing you healthy oceans, Your friends at COARE
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