Humboldt has been working on the Surfrider Rise Above Plastics Campaign since 2010. Check out our mission, progress, and ways to make a difference by clicking the links on the menu to the left. Join us to help reduce plastic pollution!

The mission of RAP is to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

Check out info about our Bag Ban, Humboldt’s RAP Timeline, Plastic Facts, and find out more through our allies on our Links page.

To share our enthusiasm for RAP, we want you to (re)watch Tim Minchin’s call for action! Hysterical and poignant, all wrapped up in one epic song.

Helpful Links

Surfrider RAP
Surfrider RAP PSA
Humboldt Baykeeper

Appropedia: Arcata Plastic Bags
Ocean Conservancy
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Californians Against Waste
Algalita Marine Research Foundation
5 Gyres
PlasticBagLaws.org
Chico Bag’s Track the Movement
Chico Bag’s Bag Monster Blog
Plastic Bag Ban Report
Tedx Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A TED event including speakers Capt. Charles Moore, Sylvia Earle, Van Jones
(all videos included here)
My Plastic-free Life
Bag It! The Movie
Take Back the Tap Campaign
HSU Take Back The Tap
The Story of Bottled Water
Plastic Planet: The Curse of the Carrier Bag

Surfrider Humboldt RAP Campaign History

2010
May 17: Surfrider Humboldt’s Rise Above Plastics working group holds 1st strategy meeting

Aug. 5: Surfrider hosts RAP-themed Ocean Night featuring Bag It! the movie, along with a RAP Power Point presentation

Aug. 31: CA State Senate votes against a statewide bag ban under pressure from the American Chemistry Council and the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition

Sept. 2: Surfrider hosts Ocean Night featuring A Seagull’s Dream, a documentary by students of Arcata Elementary, depicting the North Pacific Gyre with floating marine debris and animals

Oct. 20: Surfrider presents bag ban proposal to Arcata City Council with information booklets containing plastic facts and a sample bag ban ordinance

Nov. 2: Surfrider presents bag ban proposal to Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. The Board passes a motion to direct Humboldt Waste Management Authority to begin work on a bag ban ordinance

Nov. 11: RAP presents to Coop Board Meeting. The Board was supportive of a ban and wanted to work on ways to end use of produce bags

Nov. 17: Arcata City Council passes a motion to direct the Humboldt Waste Management Authority to begin work on a bag ban

Dec. 7: Surfrider presents bag ban proposal at Eureka City Council

Dec. 8: Surfrider send letters to local business leaders to ask for support for a bag ban

2011

Jan.: Humboldt Baykeeper and Surfrider continue letter campaign to gain support of local grocers

Feb. 9: Surfrider presents bag ban proposal to Trinidad City Council

Feb. 15: Humboldt Baykeeper presents bag ban proposal to Rio Dell City Council

Feb. 22: Humboldt Baykeeper presents bag ban proposal to Blue Lake City Council

April 14: Surfrider presents bag ban proposal to Humboldt Waste Management Authority. HWMA board votes to begin work on a countywide bag ban

July 14: CA State Supreme Court rules in favor of bag bans. The City of Manhattan Beach was sued by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition for not writing and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The ruling means that a costly EIR is not required by a city to have a bag ban, paving the way for smaller communities to move forward on bans writing only a Negative Declaration document

August 12: Update from Humboldt Waste Management Authority. HWMA awaits Marin County CA Supreme Court decision before preparing bag ban ordinance

Sept. 15: Marin County Superior Court rules in favor of Marin County bag ban. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition sued Marin County for using a Categorical Exemption  in designing the bag ban. The Court stated that because the intent of the ban was environmentally beneficial Marin County was allowed to move forward using the exemption status. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has stated its intention to appeal the decision

Nov. 10: HWMA Meeting: discussion of plastic bag ban ordinance. The HWMA Board was updated by their attorney Nancy Diamond on the current legislative atmosphere of bag bans around the state. Diamond states staff is working on writing the bag ban ordinance with several options which will be ready for the January HWMA meeting. A conservative recommendation is planned if a fee is included that could make Humboldt County vulnerable to litigation.

Dec. 15: Day Without a Bag event hosted by Humboldt Surfrider and Humboldt Baykeeper. One day reusable bag giveaway at Ray’s McKinleyville and Arcata, Widlberries, and Eureka Natural Foods. Over 20 volunteers make reusable bags out of t-shirts and screen print the Ban the Bag Humboldt logo

2012
April. 12:  Surfrider and Humboldt Baykeeper representatives meet with Brent Whitener from Humboldt Waste Management Authority for bag ban update

  • Bag ban will not appear on the April or May HWMA agenda
  • Written ordinance status unknown
  • Future of bag ban appearing on HWMA agenda unknown

April. 14: Reusable bag giveaway at Arcata Co-op. Volunteers make reusable bags out of t-shirts and screen print the Ban the Bag Humboldt logo

  • Petition signatures collected

June 14: HWMA votes to begin Initial Study for developing either an EIR or Negative Declaration for the bag ban ordinance. Time frame for the Initial Study is 60-90 days, which results in meeting sometime before Oct. 4th.