By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
“What I am saying to my neighbors, and what I am saying with this sign is, ‘Can we just bring our own bag?’ I mean, it’s not that hard. Quitting smoking, that’s hard. Bringing your cup with you, bringing your own bag when you shop — I am sorry,that’s not hard.
“I have to bring it down to where I live,” Bradley continues while a passing shopper defensively tells her companion that she forgot her cloth bag this week.
“The other day I walked from my house to a breakfast meeting with Eric Garcetti at the new Laguna affordable housing [complex] on Sunset. I picked up about 40 plastic bags and pieces of Styrofoam. Plastic bags are so aerodynamic, they are everywhere, and we don’t have people who are making a conscious effort to pick them up. [The bags] are doing an extraordinary amount of damage.”
Bradley is deeply concerned with the plastic debris that gets into the waterways. There “is an island of plastic bags and Styrofoam that is twice the size of Texas,” she says, “which is floating in the North Pacific Gyre. It is literally a floating island, and if it were inert, that would be one thing, but sea life is perceiving it as food. [There are] pictures of the insides of sea life filled with plastic. And that is not hyperbole, that is really the truth.”
Bradley, who has retired early, now dedicates most of her time to her volunteer work. She is involved with the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce Green Committee’s efforts to establish a local Dash bus, and she attends the city of Los Angeles’ Zero Waste effort’s monthly meetings.
“Recycling is not the biggest deal. When I say ‘zero waste,’ I mean, I am really trying to be zero waste. What we want to do first and foremost is refuse — like refuse that disposable cup, refuse that plastic bag or paper bag — bring your own. Number two is return.”If a business can use an item again, return it. “The third is reduce. The fourth is reuse, and the fifth is recycle. It is a whole different way of looking at things.”
Nearby, a cluster of women pick through an assortment of herbs and peppers. One, who has apparently completed her shopping, stands to the side, waiting for her companions. Her hands are full with plastic bags of vegetables and fruits. With a furrowed brow, she stares inquisitively at Bradley’s sign and looks away. Soon she is staring at it again.
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