Dear President Obama, As you read this, our oceans are choking on our garbage. Thousands of species of beautiful marine animals are suffering as a result of the waste we produce on a daily basis. We are all responsible for the tragedy that is unfolding around us, and it is up to us to create policy that addresses the profound implications of our collective waste. Recent studies have shown that a "continent" of trash currently stretches from California to Japan, over 90% of which is plastic waste. There is no single solution to this problem, but one change we can make is to promote the use of reusable shopping bags as a way to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags that end up choking our waterways, oceans and landfills. According to the BBC, a common-sense initiative adopted by Ireland in 2002 that places a $.15 tax on each plastic bag used by consumers has been highly successful in reducing the number of disposable bags that enters the waste-stream. In addition, the money generated by the "plastax" has been used to fund other environmental projects. By placing a reasonable tax of $.20 per single-use plastic shopping bag at all points of sale, we can easily prevent billions of shopping bags from ending up in our oceans and landfills each year. In addition, curbing the use of petroleum-based plastic bags will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We, the undersigned, demand action on behalf of our precious oceans and marine life!