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Bill To Ban Plastic Bags Introduced In State Legislative Committees

Audio

Aired 4/12/10

The legislation would regulate paper carryout bags at supermarkets, retail pharmacies and convenience stores throughout the state.

There are several environmental bills scheduled for hearings in California state legislative committees this week. But the chances for passage appear slim.

Steve Aceti with the California Coastal Coalition said he's talked to key democratic legislators who say this session may be a quote "no-go year for environmental bills."

One bill being heard Tuesday in committee would ban single-use plastic carryout bags.

The legislation would also regulate paper carryout bags at supermarkets, retail pharmacies and convenience stores throughout the state.

Aceti said there are now more democratic legislators who will not support bills perceived to cost jobs or hurt the economy.

"The plastic bag ban and the polystyrene ban, we were told, may not see the light of day by the end of the session," said Aceti.

Dan Jacobson with Environmental California is more optimistic. “I actually think the bag bill has a good chance to pass since there is some momentum for this issue,” Jacobson said.

Aceti with CalCoast said Californians use an estimated 19 billion single-use plastic bags every year and fewer than 5-percent are recycled.

Aceti said most plastic bags wind up in landfills, beaches and the ocean.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jw20000'

jw20000 | April 13, 2010 at 11:28 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

I work for a plastic bag Co. If the ban goes through, we will profit enormously from the ban. Plastic tonnage into landfills will climb dramatically just as it did in Ireland when they banned and taxed plastic bags. Bag manufacturers report sales increases of 70% to 200% in the year after the bag ban. 80% of 6 gram bags are reused as household trash bags. 12% are recycled. Customers had to purchase heavy 22 gram trash bags. More plastic, higher costs, higher environmental impact. Profit margins are way higher on purchased Kitchen trash bags. Bag Companies had to hire hundreds of workers. Wacko environmentalists fight tooth and nail to prevent an Environmental Impact Statement on this issue. An EIS clearly shows that 6 gram plastic bags are the most environmental option today for carrying your groceries home. Paper is really bad. 67 grams each. Deforestation, water pollution, Green house gases, air pollution, energy use, etc. Reusable bags are made of PLASTIC and plastic fibers. They weigh 130 grams plus require polluting laundry cycles to remove grocery bacteria accumulation. They require 22 use cycles to break even. Some sea turtles are killed off the shore of several US cities with no storm drain catch basins. All litter washed out to sea can kill marine life. As a percent of liter state wide, grocery bags don't even rate in the top 20 categories. Less than 0.1%. Fast food trash, beer, soda, etc. are the major categories. Shall we ban McDonalds... or a necessity for most families. I feel guilty every time I go to a fast food restaurant and deposit all those trash items made from trees. Recyclable Plastic bags are made from waste natural gas and a portion of the oil cracking extraction.

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Avatar for user 'BigLefty'

BigLefty | June 7, 2010 at 11:10 a.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not calling JW20000 wacko:

If you get reusable bags with longer straps, they double as a lightweight backpack. I prefer my cool-cotton shopping bags - sacks - over my daypack for light loads. Up to a 12-pack is usually OK.

Tommy says that we need the disposable plastic bags for trash. Why not just use a reusable plast trash can with a wastepaper liner, and scrub it once in a while with the toilet brush?

Unbagged dusty media in the trash is a little problematic, but can be neutralized with a sprinkle of water.

We use way too much disposable stuff. It's easy to remember your shopping bags.

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