It’s not easy being green if you’re Kermit, Texas, a small town so far off the beaten track you can’t even see it from Midland. But that hasn’t stopped the tiny municipality from jumping to become the Permian Basin’s leader in banning plastic bags.
This whole debate about plastic bags once seemed a mite frivolous to me, next to some of the really mammoth issues confronting society — food scarcity, global warming, coal and oil pollution. I got that it mattered. But it seemed like a side trip on the road to sustainability, like a smaller matter that would eventually resolve on its own. I was more concerned about the carbon pollution from big industrial sources, and our cars and our homes, that comprise the Damocles sword threatening our children’s future.
We had big fish to fry.
California’s state Senate rejected a proposed law to ban plastic bags in grocery stores late Tuesday, voting 21-14 against the measure that had passed the Assembly earlier this summer.
Despite the support of progressives, environmental groups and the California Grocers Association, the plastic bag ban proved controversial, with the American Chemistry Council, which represents plastics makers and the oil industry, ridiculing the law in ads that claimed it was the wrong focus for the legislature and would cost the state jobs.
In this video report from Sacramento, Nanette Miranda of KABC-TV reports on the battle over the proposed plastic grocery bag ban in California.
The story quotes American Chemistry Council’s Tim Shestek saying the bill “has ramifications beyond California if it were to pass.” Shestek defends plastic bags as having a “good environmental footprint” and as fully recyclable.
It’s unclear how many plastic grocery bags are recycled. The ACC runs a website about recycling plastic bags.
California stands ready to be the first state to ban disposable plastic bags, a move that supporters say would help staunch plastic waste on land and in the ocean.