Ain’t it grand to see the human race collectively shake the cobwebs from our noggins and move to quit something so dumb! Four (of many) reasons to quit the plastic shopping bag habit:
1) trashing up the neighborhood
2) over 35 million barrels of oil are used to create them yearly
3) the Pacific Garbage Patch (“It’s an area twice the size of the United States,” Los Angeles Times blog, 5/19/08) is largely made of these
4) cloth, re-usable bags are cool!
STOP USING PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS!
Here is some uplifting news from the RTE News web site regarding countries that are taking action against the wasteful, lazy, dumb use of plastic grocery bags. Do your part by a) saying no thanks to paper or plastic – bring your own bag shopping, and b) encourage your congressman to pass legislation to ban the bag.
Ireland’s success story with its plastic bag surcharge is rippling across the world. Here is a list of other countries & continents that already restrict plastic shopping bags or plan to do so:
AFRICA — Rwanda and Eritrea banned the bags outright, as has Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia.
AUSTRALIA — Coles Bay in Tasmania became ‘Australia’s First Plastic Bag-Free Town’ in April 2003. Dozens of others followed suit. In January 2008, the environment minister called for supermarkets to phase out use of the bags nationwide by the end of the year.
BANGLADESH — The first large country to ban bags in 2002. Bangladesh blamed millions of discarded bags for blocking drains and contributing to floods that submerged much of the country in 1988.
CHINA — The ban on ultra-thin bags that goes into force on June 1 will cut pollution and save valuable oil resources, the State Council, or cabinet, says. In May 2007 Hong Kong proposed a 50 cent ‘polluter pays’ levy on plastic shopping bags.
FRANCE — In 2005, French lawmakers voted to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags by 2010. The French island of Corsica became the first to ban plastic bags in large stores in 1999.
INDIA — The western state of Maharashtra banned the manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags in August 2005, after claims that they choked drains during monsoon rains. Other states banned ultra-thin bags to cut pollution and deaths of cattle, sacred to Hindus, which eat them.
IRELAND — Our plastic bag tax was passed in 2002. The tax created an initial 90% drop in bag use, according to the Environment Ministry. (GO IRELAND!!!)
UNITED STATES — San Francisco became the first and only U.S. city to outlaw plastic grocery bags in April 2008. The ban is limited to large supermarkets. The state of New Jersey is mulling phasing them out by 2010. In January 2008 New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill forcing large retailers to set up plastic bag recycling programmes and to make recycled bags available.
What are you doing in your community? GO GET ‘EM!