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Seattle looks at banning plastic bags, styrofoam


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  #1  
July 9th, 2008, 12:16 AM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
If you don't bring a bag to a grocery store in Seattle, you'll have to pay 20 cents for every paper or plastic one you use.

Don't like it? Take it up with the City Council tonight.

The public is invited to sound off at a public hearing on Mayor Greg Nickels' proposal to ban Styrofoam in restaurants and supermarkets and charge customers at all groceriy stores and drugstores 20 cents for each disposable plastic or paper bag.

"No other city has done what we're suggesting here," Nickels told P-I reporter Angela Galloway. "These actions will take tons of plastic and foam out of our waste stream. ... The best way to handle a ton of waste is not to create it in the first place."

It's hard to object to the motive, but - small it is - would you object to the charge?

The hearing starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.[/b]
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigb...ives/142922.asp

This hearing happened tonight in Seattle. No final decisions have been made yet, to my knowledge.

Thoughts?

Probably no surprise, I think it's a great idea I hope this will happen everywhere within the decade. I think this quote from the mayor of Seattle sums it up:
Quote:
The best way to handle a ton of waste is not to create it in the first place[/b]
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  #2  
July 9th, 2008, 01:04 AM
whatever
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That would certainly get the job done! I think it's a good idea!
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  #3  
July 9th, 2008, 05:11 AM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think that it's great to encourage people to use reusable bags when grocery shopping, but to penalize them for not using reusable bags seems a bit extreme to me. I work at Whole Foods Market and the store recently made the decision to not provide plastic bags (except for produce) and guests can get a ten cent credit on their bill for every truely reusable bag they bring in (meaning canvas bags or something that is intended to be reused) and a five cent credit for each disposable bag that they bring in. Or they can choose to donate that money to a particular charity. To me, that's a better way to go about encouraging people to reuse grocery bags.

Also, when you think about it, I'm sure there are plenty of people who will just say, "Oh well, it's only twenty cents per bag." and choose that route rather than have to remember to bring their bags in.

It also seems...I dunno...Big Brother-y to me to have the city government step in and make "laws" regarding my grocery shopping bags.
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  #4  
July 9th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Mountain~Mama's Avatar ThePastHasNoPowerOverMe
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I think it's a great idea!
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  #5  
July 9th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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It already happens here in Germany. They charge for plastic bags and for styrofoam. I think its a great idea if you ask me
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  #6  
July 9th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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I think it's a fantastic idea! Plastic bags are terrible for the environment. They take a lot of petroleum to produce, they increase litter and are detrimental to wildlife. Certainly people can live without their plastic grocery bags. I converted to cloth bags back in October and I LOVE them! They hold more, they don't rip while I'm trying to carry my bags into the house and everything can stand up in them instead of just being thrown in haphazardly.
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  #7  
July 9th, 2008, 09:42 AM
chlodoll
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I think its a great idea. You have to pay for bags at the grocery store I shop at as well but only 5 cents. I think if they increased that to perhaps a quarter people would be much more inclined to remember their reusable bags!
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  #8  
July 9th, 2008, 10:08 AM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I think that it's great to encourage people to use reusable bags when grocery shopping, but to penalize them for not using reusable bags seems a bit extreme to me. I work at Whole Foods Market and the store recently made the decision to not provide plastic bags (except for produce) and guests can get a ten cent credit on their bill for every truely reusable bag they bring in (meaning canvas bags or something that is intended to be reused) and a five cent credit for each disposable bag that they bring in. Or they can choose to donate that money to a particular charity. To me, that's a better way to go about encouraging people to reuse grocery bags.

Also, when you think about it, I'm sure there are plenty of people who will just say, "Oh well, it's only twenty cents per bag." and choose that route rather than have to remember to bring their bags in.

It also seems...I dunno...Big Brother-y to me to have the city government step in and make "laws" regarding my grocery shopping bags.[/b]
To play devil's advocate: does it feel Big Brother-y that the government has laws to limit the amount of hazardous waste a company can allow into the sewers or nearby bodies of water? Does it feel Big Brother-y that it's illegal to throw your trash wherever you would like? Or that there are cutting limits in logging, and hunting/fishing limits?

There are many laws intended to protect the environment. It's just that most of them don't cost you a few cents when you make the "wrong" choice. EDIT: Well, actually, now that I think about it, they do cost you a "few cents" if you make the wrong choice - you'll get fined for littering or overfishing, etc. I guess what I meant was that you don't fish every day, and when a company is fined for toxic waste, you don't see the bill. But grocery shopping happens so often that you'll feel the pinch. I think it's that which makes you feel uncomfortable, not the "big brother"-ishness of it.

Quote:
I think it's a fantastic idea! Plastic bags are terrible for the environment. They take a lot of petroleum to produce, they increase litter and are detrimental to wildlife. Certainly people can live without their plastic grocery bags. I converted to cloth bags back in October and I LOVE them! They hold more, they don't rip while I'm trying to carry my bags into the house and everything can stand up in them instead of just being thrown in haphazardly.[/b]
Ditto!!! They really do work better!

I also use reusable produce bags (they're mesh with drawstrings) and they are awesome.
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  #9  
July 9th, 2008, 10:10 AM
Gracey and Evan's Ma
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I love my take-out, so I dont know how I feel about having to pay not only for the food I order at a restaurant, but also pay extra if I want to take some of it home. I know they charge for plastic bags at Aldi's. I think they are .10 or .20 cents...but they are HUGE bags! We just reuse those. I try to be conscious, but I guess all in all Im pretty bad. I use sposie diapers (my dryer sucks and we dont have diaper service around here-I checked!), and I also use my walmart bags to wrap up the diapers in before I toss them in my plastic garbage bag.

Maybe it really is a good idea, for ppl like me. I could always carry tupperware for my take-out and just continue reusing my Aldi's bags or use canvas for walmart. Im going to have to invest in some LARGE canvas bags tho!
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  #10  
July 9th, 2008, 11:15 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
I love my take-out, so I dont know how I feel about having to pay not only for the food I order at a restaurant, but also pay extra if I want to take some of it home. I know they charge for plastic bags at Aldi's. I think they are .10 or .20 cents...but they are HUGE bags! We just reuse those. I try to be conscious, but I guess all in all Im pretty bad. I use sposie diapers (my dryer sucks and we dont have diaper service around here-I checked!), and I also use my walmart bags to wrap up the diapers in before I toss them in my plastic garbage bag.

Maybe it really is a good idea, for ppl like me. I could always carry tupperware for my take-out and just continue reusing my Aldi's bags or use canvas for walmart. Im going to have to invest in some LARGE canvas bags tho![/b]

Most grocery stores sell them for about $1. The ones I got are a decent size. I'd say they could hold about 8 boxes of cereal in one bag if that gives any idea of the size.
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  #11  
July 9th, 2008, 11:45 AM
Chunky Monkey's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Excellent idea! I am all about doing whatever needs to be done to preserve the enviroment, even if it means a small monetary investment initially. I do have some of the reusable bags. I love them!
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  #12  
July 9th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Cereal Killer's Avatar Aiming for mediocrity
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This is just another example of pointless, fluffy, feel good, behavior modification legislation, which is nothing more than a symbolic gesture. This won't save, or even have an impact, on our environment. It is, however, going to make the city of Seattle an estimated $16M in tax revenue.
Why not ban them all together? Why not offer biodegradable bags, which cost slightly less than the tax they are planning on imposing? Why not establish or expand a recycling program for these bags? These bags are still going to be available, they will still be used. Seattle is estimating that the new tax will cost over $60 per year, per household (that's right! they are still estimating that each household will use approx 250 plastic bags. CHA-CHING! CHA-CHING!)

Plastic and paper bags have a negligible impact on the environment. Banning them will do nothing to aid our environment, taxing them does nothing more than take more taxpayer money. The truth is, these bags are not a detriment to our environment since, most often, these bags are reused and/or recycled or properly disposed of in a landfill where the carbon is sequestered, thereby eliminating greenhouse gases.

In this case, the end does not justify the means because the cost substantially exceeds the negligible benefit.


Quote:
Scientists and environmentalists have attacked a global campaign to ban plastic bags which they say is based on flawed science and exaggerated claims.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

Gordon Brown announced last month that he would force supermarkets to charge for the bags, saying that they were “one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste”. Retailers and some pressure groups, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, threw their support behind him.
Related Links

* Commentary: ‘sexed-up’ numbers are not science

* Q&A: trying to get a handle on the truth

* Climate change: the burning issues

But scientists, politicians and marine experts attacked the Government for joining a “bandwagon” based on poor science.

Lord Taverne, the chairman of Sense about Science, said: “The Government is irresponsible to jump on a bandwagon that has no base in scientific evidence. This is one of many examples where you get bad science leading to bad decisions which are counter-productive. Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything.”

Campaigners say that plastic bags pollute coastlines and waterways, killing or injuring birds and livestock on land and, in the oceans, destroying vast numbers of seabirds, seals, turtles and whales. However, The Times has established that there is no scientific evidence to show that the bags pose any direct threat to marine mammals.

They “don’t figure” in the majority of cases where animals die from marine debris, said David Laist, the author of a seminal 1997 study on the subject. Most deaths were caused when creatures became caught up in waste produce. “Plastic bags don’t figure in entanglement,” he said. “The main culprits are fishing gear, ropes, lines and strapping bands. Most mammals are too big to get caught up in a plastic bag.”

He added: “The impact of bags on whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals ranges from nil for most species to very minor for perhaps a few species.For birds, plastic bags are not a problem either.”

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine.”

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.

Regardless, the erroneous claim has become the keystone of a widening campaign to demonise plastic bags.

David Santillo, a marine biologist at Greenpeace, told The Times that bad science was undermining the Government’s case for banning the bags. “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags,” he said. “The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags.

“It doesn’t do the Government’s case any favours if you’ve got statements being made that aren’t supported by the scientific literature that’s out there. With larger mammals it’s fishing gear that’s the big problem. On a global basis plastic bags aren’t an issue. It would be great if statements like these weren’t made.”

Geoffrey Cox, a Tory member of the Commons Environment Select Committee, said: “I don't like plastic bags and I certainly support restricting their use, but plainly it’s extremely important that before we take any steps we should rely on accurate information. It is bizarre that any campaign should be endorsed on the basis of a mistranslation. Gordon Brown should get his facts right.”

A 1968 study of albatross carcasses found that 90 per cent contained some form of plastic but only two birds had ingested part of a plastic bag.

Professor Geoff Boxshall, a marine biologist at the Natural History Museum, said: “I’ve never seen a bird killed by a plastic bag. Other forms of plastic in the ocean are much more damaging. Only a very small proportion is caused by bags.”

Plastic particles known as nurdles, dumped in the sea by industrial companies, form a much greater threat as they can be easily consumed by birds and animals. Many British groups are now questioning whether a ban on bags would cost consumers more than the environmental benefits.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of retailer John Lewis, said that tackling packaging waste and reducing carbon emissions were far more important goals. “We don’t see reducing the use of plastic bags as our biggest priority,” he said. “Of all the waste that goes to landfill, 20 per cent is household waste and 0.3 per cent is plastic bags.” John Lewis added that a scheme in Ireland had reduced plastic bag usage, but sales of bin liners had increased 400 per cent.[/b]
source
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  #13  
July 9th, 2008, 01:29 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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If people want to continue to use plastic bags despite being charged for them then that's their own problem. I spent $10 on 10 reusable bags that will last me for years. Charging for plastic bags will reduce the number being used. People will either reuse them or invest in cloth bags.

This had some good basic information.
http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...EDIA02/80505016
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  #14  
July 9th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have thought about getting the cloth bags I just might get them at wal mart today when I go. I hate the plastic ones because they tear and all that crud anyway. Susan are they bigger than the plastic ones? I guess I could start out with 10 or so and see how many more I would need for us.
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  #15  
July 9th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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Nana I'm going to the store today and will be using them. I'll try to take some pics and show you. They are freaking awesome. There is an insert in the bottom so it reinforces the bottom and makes it so things stand up in there. It holds things more in the way that a paper bag would only it hold more.
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  #16  
July 9th, 2008, 01:51 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am going to the store today so I will pick up some that they have there I am going to get the biggest ones I can get because I only go to the sotre once a mo and will need a lot to carry all the crap I need to buy.
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  #17  
July 9th, 2008, 02:03 PM
chlodoll
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The ones I bought at the grocery store are quite large. They definitely hold more then a regular plastic bag and they are also much easier to carry if you need to walk a bit holding them.

Whether or not the plastic bag is evil I think practicing reusing and reducing anything is good for the environment and will lead you to do so in other parts of your life as well.

The cost of the bags at my grocery store go back to the store and thats why I get to pay less for the food I buy there opposed to other stores and thankfully there will always be people who will buy them in that case hahaha
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  #18  
July 9th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We have been charged for bags at (cheaper) grocery stores here for a few years now at least....No Frills and Price Choppers (if there are more, they arent in my city and Im unaware of them) and are $0.05/bag. I do see more and more cloth bags being used, they are also sold for $1 at grocery stores, Walmart and Canadian Tire. I see lots of people bringing their own bags, or using boxes instead of bags that the store provides, sizes vary and I never find good sized ones myself. I want to get some but my boyfriend is saying they are a waste of money

I think its a good idea.
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  #19  
July 9th, 2008, 03:03 PM
Gracey and Evan's Ma
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^^^ My hubby is the same way. I was telling him about this and he kept going on and on about how ridiculous it is that they are charging for EVERYTHING now. "Just another way to make a buck, like we dont spend way too much at the grocery store already. If everyone goes to cloth, fine, we'll go to cloth.. but Im not going to be the only one in the store with a canvas bag-with everyone else looking at me, saying 'YOU! YOU are the reason we have to PAY for plastic bags now!'" I know, it sounds bad.. but it was kinda funny imagining everyone jumping him for using a canvas bag!
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  #20  
July 9th, 2008, 03:54 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
^^^ My hubby is the same way. I was telling him about this and he kept going on and on about how ridiculous it is that they are charging for EVERYTHING now. "Just another way to make a buck, like we dont spend way too much at the grocery store already. If everyone goes to cloth, fine, we'll go to cloth.. but Im not going to be the only one in the store with a canvas bag-with everyone else looking at me, saying 'YOU! YOU are the reason we have to PAY for plastic bags now!'" I know, it sounds bad.. but it was kinda funny imagining everyone jumping him for using a canvas bag![/b]
LOL That would be pretty funny! I get the exact opposite reactions though. The baggers at the store love bagging my stuff in the cloth bags because it's easier and they don't have to fight to get those stupid plastic bags open. I get lots of comments from other customers asking me where I got them and how I liked them. They were impressed at how much they hold!
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