Today, Save The Bay released its fourth annual list of Bay Trash Hot Spots, which are ten shorelines and creeks choked by plastic bag pollution. Toxic plastic trash is a huge problem all over the Bay; it threatens our public health and quality of life.

The 2009 Hot Spots are sites where volunteers collected the most plastic bags on Coastal Cleanup Day in 2008. On this day alone, volunteers reported pulling nearly 15,000 plastic bags from these ten spots, a shocking figure given that these areas represent a small portion of the Bay watershed. Save The Bay estimates that more than one million plastic bags wind up in the Bay each year.

Check out this interactive map to find the hot spot near you. Write a letter to your mayor asking support  to end plastic bag pollution

Tough policies are essential to stopping plastic bags and trash from flowing freely into creeks and the Bay. Bay Area cities should prioritize legislation that ends the distribution of “free” plastic and paper bags at all retailers and motivates shoppers to switch to reusable bags.


About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local ( a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.