Environmental activists emphasize the benefits of reducing the use of plastic bags. Plastics are a huge portion of what ends up in our oceans and have a dramatic effect on marine life. As a long time Surfrider Foundation member myself, I’ve participated in over 50 beach clean ups in the last year, and have seen firsthand the amount of plastic that invades our coastal areas. In both California and on Long Island, where I’ve cleaned beaches, I’ve learned that plastic is a pervasive issue, and that no matter how many times we clean up after ourselves, the plastic keeps showing up. A ban or disincentive to use plastic bags appears to be a sustainable way of addressing this problem.