Ban Plastic Bag

Not quite a Nanny State item, but something to pay attention to.

The Pope gets bagged

Pressure Builds to Ban Plastic Bags in Stores - New York Times:

San Francisco enacted a ban in April, but it applies just to larger groceries and drugstores. Similar measures are being considered in Boston; Baltimore; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau and director of EarthEcho, an environmental education group in Washington, said, “Banning plastic makes sense for the simple reason that it takes more than 1,000 years to biodegrade, which means that every single piece of plastic we’ve ever manufactured is still around, and much of it ends up in the oceans killing animals.”

“It sounds good until you consider the cost,” said Barry F. Scher, a spokesman for Giant Food, the grocery chain based in Landover, Md.

Instead of taking away plastic bags, which cost 2 cents each compared with 5 cents for paper bags, Annapolis should enforce its litter laws, Mr. Scher said.

He added that Giant already offered a 3-cent credit for every plastic bag that customers return to the store and that 2,200 tons of bags a year were recycled and turned into backyard decks and park benches.

Paper bags are bulkier to transport than plastic bags, Mr. Scher added, and more trucks, fuel and pollution are involved in delivering them to stores.

“That may be true,” said Alderman Sam Shropshire, the sponsor of the bill here. “But what they don’t tell you is that to make 100 billion plastic checkout bags per year, which is how many we use in the U.S. each year, it takes 12 million barrels of oil. No oil is used to produce recycled paper checkout bags.”

Jeffrie Zellmer, legislative director of the Maryland Retailers Association, said it took far less energy to recycle plastic than to recycle paper. Mr. Zellmer added that 90 percent of retailers used plastic bags and that costs could increase threefold or sixfold, eventually reaching consumers.

The commercial recycling coordinator for the City and County of San Francisco, Jack Macy, said that nationally 1 percent of all plastic checkout bags were recycled. “That means the rest end up in landfill,” Mr. Macy said. “And so the argument about plastic recycling being energy efficient isn’t a strong one.

Previous coverage
San Fran Bag Ban

San Francisco and Plastic Bags

Airport bags

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 24, 2007 9:43 AM.

Illinois statewide smoking ban was the previous entry in this blog.

Bulls got robbed is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.37