Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

Virginia Kills Plastic Bag Ban

Earthkeepers, sound off: what do you believe to be the best solution to the plastic bag problem?

a) instituting a ban
b) taxing people to use them
c) passing a recycling law

From yesterday’s Environmental Leader:

A ban on disposable plastic bags in Virginia has been pulled at the request of plastics industry representatives, reports

The proposed bag ban came after Virginia legislators saw the success of such programs in Ireland and other countries. Support for a ban also originated with Virginia’s cotton farmers who find the bags blowing into their fields and clogging bales of cotton.

But the Virginia Plastic Bag Coalition, which includes industry representatives who have lobbied nationally against plastic bag bans, said they favored a recycling program instead. A similar measure requiring stores to charge customers 5 cents a bag was also withdrawn.

Over 100 plastic-bag bans or taxes were brought up by cities and states in 2008, but many failed. Like Virginia, New York state last year passed a plastic-bag recycling law instead of an outright ban.

Baby’s Got a Brand New (Shopping) Bag

So you’re not big on tree planting, can’t figure out carbon offsetting and aren’t ready to retire your current vehicle for a bicycle or hybrid.  Let go of the guilt and remember – even small steps can help to save the world.

Take, for example, reusable shopping bags – they’ve never been more accessible (most grocery stores display them conveniently close to the check-out counters) or affordable (many places charge a buck a bag and some even discount your grocery bill if you use them).  We like the fact that they’re sturdy and hold about twice as much as a standard plastic grocery bag, which means less trips between the car and the kitchen … plus when they’re not doing grocery duty, the reusable bags are great for hauling everything from beach towels and bug spray to snacks and sweatshirts.

If you’re still not sold on the virtues of reusable shopping bags, you might read this award-winning article from Best Life magazine about the Pacific Ocean’s “Eastern Garbage Patch” – a stew of plastic trash twice the size of Texas that endangers sea life and humans alike.  Or, check out Squawkfox’s list of 50 Reasons to Go Green with Reusable Shopping Bags.

Here’s to making the question “paper or plastic?” obsolete.


Alarming graph comparison of plastic resin production vs. percentage of plastic recycled, courtesy of Best Life magazine.