As plastic bag bans gain momentum in the United States, North Carolina lawmakers recently overturned a long standing plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks. Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of an environmental bill was overturned by the General Assembly. After an eight year hiatus, disposable plastic bags will be allowed again in shops throughout the Outer Banks.
To address the plastic pollution problem in Kenya, disposable plastic bag bans have been considered twice before. The amount of trash is so significant, that Kenyan officials have tried to pass plastic bag bans and encourage the use of reusable bags for years. Previous Kenya plastic bag ban efforts have not worked and the problem has grown. This past August, Kenya passed what is their third attempt at a disposable plastic bag ban. The latest ban imposes strict penalties upon anyone caught violating the law.
In support of reusable bags and in a stand against plastic pollution, Chilean President Michele Bachelet announced big news last week at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Over the next 12 months, Chile plans to ban disposable plastic bags from all coastal cities in Chile. This is the first country in North or South America to issue such a ban and more are sure to follow.
In 2007, San Francisco became the first American city to implement a plastic bag ban. Nine years later, California took the next step when a statewide bag ban was approved, the first of its kind in America. Similarly, on a global scale, Italy became the first European country with a nationwide single-use plastic bag ban back in 2011.
Each of these locations is implementing bans to take the necessary steps towards limiting, and eventually ending, the production of single-use plastic bags. As a result of these bans, plastic litter will be reduced, natural habitats will be preserved, and the environment will have the opportunity to flourish without single-use plastic bags holding it back.
Custom reusable bags are a win for the environment, consumers and your business. But for a few years, there has been a lot of talk in the media about just how unhealthy grocery tote bags are to use. Using scare tactics, some members of the media, backed by the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade organization that supports disposable plastic bag manufacturers, has propagated this myth. But a myth it is, as confirmed by Politifact Texas.
Just as we are preparing for a possible hit of Hurricane Irma, we find out that one of our South Florida furry, four-legged neighbors is helping us in our quest to rid the oceans of plastic trash and help people use eco-friendly tote bags.
Lila, previously known as the Lobster Diving Dog, has taken on a new challenge and is now diving for plastic. It is all part of her owner, Alex Schulze’s 4 Ocean project, and we could not be more excited to share efforts that bring awareness to plastic and in turn, promote the use of eco-friendly tote bags.
Multiple efforts to legally reduce the use of disposable plastic bags in Minneapolis have fallen short. This past week the City Council declined to vote on a proposal that would have levied a 5-cent fee on bags handed out at the checkout. This comes after an approved plastic bag ban was overturned by the governor. For now there are no laws regulating disposable plastic bags in Minneapolis. Our hope remains that Minneapolis retailers and businesses will still offer custom reusable shopping bags.
On August 18 the Minneapolis City Council will vote on whether stores should impose a 5-cent fee on single-use bags handed out at stores. A council committee unanimously approved an ordinance on Monday, August 7 that would levy a fee on all bags handed out a local retailers. The ordinance specifically lists plastic, paper, compostable and reusable bags. This is not the first time the city has attempted to reduce waste and litter with a law regulating shopping bags.
Miami Beach is poised to be the next Florida city to implement their own plastic bag ban. Officials in the City of Miami Beach unanimously passed an ordinance that would prohibit sidewalk cafes from handing out single-use disposable bags. Officials decided to move forward with a ban to reduce the litter that builds up on streets, and in parks, storm drains and waterways.
Plastic bag bans may be spreading throughout Florida as St. Petersburg officials decide to move forward with a ban. In a 3-1 vote St. Pete’s environmental committee voted in favor of drafting a ban. Many supporters cite environmental concern as reason enough to ban disposable plastic bags in favor of custom reusable bags. Others, including the Florida Retail Federation, are not sure a ban is the best course of action.