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SeaWorld To Eliminate Plastic Bags At Gift Shops

SeaWorld San Diego plans to eliminate plastic bags at its gift shops this summer in a move to help the environment, park officials announced today.

Beginning June 18, guests will be asked to choose between a paper bag or purchasing a reusable one.

Park officials said they go through about one million bags annually.

Environmentalists have aimed to stop the use of plastic bags because they don't degrade, can be harmful to animals and pile up in landfills.

"We're proud of SeaWorld San Diego as they continue to demonstrate their leadership role in environmental stewardship by eliminating plastic bags in their park,'' said John Valencia, executive director of the San Diego Oceans Foundation. "Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine animals die every year from ocean pollution by ingestion or entanglement of marine debris.''

The park also has a long-standing recycling program that takes in millions of pounds of waste each year.

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