LA Battles Bag Ban

By Dan Jacobson
Legislative Director

The policy statement is expected to go to the full Council as early as next week, on Weds 4/11 or Fri 4/13. WE WILL NEED RERESENTATION AT THE COUNCIL MEETING!

LA council moves ahead on ban of paper and plastic bags

As you have seen the LA Times has editorialized in favor of banning single use plastic bags from the grocery store (click here Plastic bags are an environmental menace - Los Angeles Times) . Thousands of people have called, emailed, and written to thier city coucilor to ban single use plastic bags.
Unfortunatley out of state plastic bag companies are lobbying hard to kill this measure. See their statement here Statement From American Progressive Bag Alliance Regarding Los Angeles City's ... Now more than ever we need people to stand up to the polluters and say no to single use plastic bags.

Comments

I am someone dreading the ban of plastic grocery bags. I use them exclusively as waste can liners. I have not bought small waste can liners in over a decade. The larger ones are used almost continuously as I only put wet or messy trash in the small grocery bag lined wastebaskets. I double or triple them if they are beat up and put a sheet of newsprint at the bottom to absorb moisture and for punture resistance.

The grocery bags are also *more* biodegradable than the purchased can liners.

Seems win-win in my book.

Unfortunately, plastic bags are a lose-lose for marine life and the the ocean. Specifically because they are absolutely NOT biodegradable; ultra violet light from the sun breaks plastic up into smaller and smaller pieces, but it remains toxic for hundreds of years, and consequently is extremely pernicious to marine life. Massive garbage patches swirl in each of the planet's 5 major ocean gyres, killing millions of marine animals including whales, endangered sea turtles and majestic albatros each year.

While some of us may dread altering a more nuanced aspect or our daily lives in response to a plastic bag ban, others are terrified of an ocean suffocating in plastic pollution; an ocean where creatures such as whales and sea birds die in prodigious numbers as a result of our negligence. We must not let our fear of change impede progress of moving forward on a common sense solution to the global problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

I understand the need to keep the bags out of the ocean. I am talking about using a disposable grocery bag to replace the use of purchased waste can liners. Whatever the downside of plastic grocery bags is, it must be a similar negative trait for plastic can liners. The positive sanitation practices of isolating and disposing of "wet" refuse in this manner seems defensible. Banning grocery bags will not reduce this use, but using grocery bags for liners tied off for disposal will reduce the consumption of these liners (at a reduced cost), not go into the ocean if used in this way, and help in keeping personal space sanitary.

Sanitation concerns are why a good many things are disposable (last time I had stitches out, they doctor threw away the small scissors - one time use only). In that light, there was a recent story about how dirty reusable cloth shopping bags were traced as the cause of a Nora? virus outbreak on a cruise ship. It is said that purses transmit a lot of bacteria as they are put directly on the ground (like shoes), but also placed on other surfaces that you would not want shoes on. Cloth shopping bags will pose similar problems (I use them, but most do not hold up well at all - tears too easily - soils easily, does not launder well at all). I'd suggest making them into different sized duffle bag style canvas pouches. Make the canvas from hemp fiber. Have a membership policy that has the store GIVE me whatever amount of "duffle bags" to bag my goods (not carry my OWN in anticipating the amount I'll purchase). Even if they're one use for shopping, if they're made well enough, I'll get lots of extended use from them (laundry bag, travel bag, storage bag, etc.) but largley bypass the hygiene concerns a heavily reused shopping bag entails.

Finally, my point on their biodegradability was from what I've read/seen of the cornstarch additive. I've seen the doc "Drowning in Plastic" and know about the trash islands in the ocean. I've also seen "Waterlife" and worry about the effect of the nurdles?.

I'm certainly not saying I have all the answers but would think that making things more durable in some cases would keep them out of the trash cycle longer.

The most promising approach (to me at least) was the guy who turned all types of plastic into a single recycled product (railroad ties).

The positive sanitation practices of isolating and disposing of "wet" refuse in this manner seems defensible. Banning grocery bags will not reduce this use, but using grocery bags for liners tied off for disposal will reduce the consumption of these liners (at a reduced cost), not go into the ocean if used in this way, and help in keeping personal space sanitary.mba admission consultants

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