Factory Direct Promos is hosting a blog carnival to raise awareness about why it is important to use reusable bags. We are showcasing blog posts from a variety of amazing and talented writers who took the time to share and discuss with their readers and us the environmental necessity of taking action and putting an end to the use of disposable plastic bags. We are thrilled at the response and the turnout of really great and thought provoking posts we received. Please take some time to check out these incredible posts, and please take a moment to check out their other great, green living and working content while you’re there visiting.
When Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, attempted to do away with a 5-cent fee that was levied on plastic bags handed out at stores within the city that set off a surprising turn of events. Ford wanted to do away with the fee because he felt it was not necessary – he felt shoppers should be able to use plastic bags if they want to and it was silly to charge a fee to dissuade them. The council immediately voted to pass the mayor’s proposal to end the fee and just as quickly proposed and passed an outright ban on plastic bags. The ban was scheduled to begin on January 1, 2013, but once again the plan has changed.
Uganda has been waging a war against plastic bags since 2002. At that time a lawsuit was filed by the group Greenwatch. The suit claimed that the use of plastic for disposable bags, containers and food wrappers violated the right of Uganda’s citizens to a clean and healthy environment. In June 2007 the government banned the importation, use and distribution of polythene bags less than 30 microns thick, but Parliament never passed a law implementing the ban and plastic bag manufacturers found a loophole and continued to produce and distribute plastic bags. Plastic bag manufacturers circumvented this ban by producing bags that were 30 or 31 microns thick. The manufacturers thought they were being clever, but they were just perpetuating the use of plastic bags and all of the harm these bags cause as opposed to reusable bags.
Factory Direct Promos (FDP) recently launched an interactive map https://www.factorydirectpromos.com/plastic-bag-bans that lets you track the movement to ban disposable plastic bags all over the world. This in-depth map features color-coded pins that indicate whether a location has a ban on the books, where a ban failed to pass or if an area has a law mandating a fee be levied on bags at the checkout.
A familiar group is working to ban plastic bags in a New York City. The environmental group Clean Seas Coalition have opened an office in Manhattan. Clean Seas is looking to pick up the pieces of the failed bag ban after a brief campaign by Mayor Bloomberg’s office fell short in 2009. The Clean Seas Coalition most certainly know a thing or two about how to implement a ban in a major metropolitan area.
Clean Seas Coalition was the driving force behind the disposable bag bans and fees set up in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since Los Angeles implemented a disposable plastic bag ban and a 10-cent fee on paper bags just over a year ago the city has seen a 93 percent reduction in waste. Given that New York City creates about 12,000 tons of trash everyday eliminating plastic bags would be a huge reduction and help.
Pros & Cons of a Plastic Bag Ban
The San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority passed an ordinance back in January that banned disposable plastic bags in most retail outlets, specifically supermarkets, pharmacies, sporting goods retailers and convenience stores with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. The fine print also calls for a 10-cent fee to be levied on paper bags. It is hoped that the fee will also deter shoppers from using paper bags and go all the way to eco-friendly with reusables. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to carry their purchases home each and every time they go shopping.
Eugene Oregon has tried for many years to get an eco-friendly plastic bag ban on the record and now that bag ban is within reach. If plastic bags do not end up in landfills where they will take up space and never break down, they float around as litter and can cause serious harm to animals and their habitats. Unfortunately, the thin plastic bags are seldom recycled.
Austin, Texas is gearing up for a ban on both plastic and paper disposable shopping bags that is going into action on March 1, 2013. The ban was approved by the Austin City Council in March of this year. The powers that be in Austin wanted to make sure they got the ban right the first time, so they took special care to draft a law that would fit what the residents wanted. Residents were invited to speak at public forums and the bill was drafted and re-drafted before the final version went to vote.
Shoppers in Solana Beach, California had their first taste of life free from single use plastic shopping bags, and as would be expected the responses from shoppers ran the gamut. Some shoppers simply packed up their purchase in the reusable grocery bags they purchased while others were irritated that plastic bags were not available and paper bags would set them back 10 cents each. Solana Beach is the first city in San Diego County to ban plastic bags and they are following in the steps of 44 other California cities who have already banned these environmental hazards. By some estimates stores in the state of California give out 19 billion plastic bags a year and a mere 5 percent are recycled. At this rate the folks in Solana Beach felt they had to do something and that is how this ban came to be.