Santa Monica High School students led a “ban the bag” march late last month, wearing homemade costumes and waving signs to call attention to the effects of single-use plastic bag consumption.
Sponsored by Samohi’s Team Marine and Heal the Bay’s Surfrider Club, the march involved over 60 people, including students, parents, and staff from Aqua Surf School, Heal the Bay, and Tree People’s Generation Earth Program. It was the sixth march to be held in four years.
High school students made several new costumes to add to their single-use plastic wardrobe collection, which includes separate bag, straw, water bottle, bottle cap, cutlery, and six-ring pack monster costumes.
During the march, Samohi students passed out free reusable bags courtesy of Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay, and their self-made flyers printed on reusable paper highlighting the problems of and solutions to single-use plastic bag consumption.
Following the event, Samohi students staged a silent protest at City Hall during the City Council meeting Oct. 26. Their attendance elicited a response from council members, who acknowledged their presence and scheduled a tentative “ban the bag” vote date for Nov. 23 – after having postponed the vote date twice in October. The state Senate voted to reject a statewide single-use plastic bag ban this past summer.
“The announcement for the Nov. 23 vote date drew mixed feelings from marchers,” Samohi Team Marine science teacher Ben Kay said. “Some people were hoping the council would ban the bag prior to Nov. 16, which is the day the city of Los Angeles is scheduled to vote on its own bag ban.”