California’s plastic bag ban could wrap up arguments over disposables

California often pushes the envelop on environmental causes, and could become the first U.S. state to ban those pesky plastic bags that
fly out from grocery stores by bajillions every minute of every day, only to end up in trees, waterways and clinging to other trash.
It might not seem like a big deal, but such a ban — the law under consideration would forbid the use of plastic bags and charge 5 cents for paper grocery bags, pushing consumers to employ reusable totes — would be a symbolic victory for people everywhere who are opposed to waste and needless disposable goods. It would relieve oceans, rivers, parks, streets and you name it of this persistent trash (and clear up a lot of cupboard space devoted to these ubiquitous little do-nothings). But most of all, it would send a signal. The hope on one side (and the fear on the other) is that other states will follow California, toppling the need for this petroleum-based product across America.

Help contain plastics by knowing your plastic containers

By Kelly Rondeau
Green Right Now

It’s the holiday season, and along with the many joys that are associated with this fun time of year – cooking, baking, parties with friends and family – comes a lurking environmental problem: Toxic chemicals in everyday plastics. Plastics that seem to be everywhere in our holiday midst — in the packaging of toys, the toys themselves, our food packaging, in our holiday leftover storage containers, in plastic wrap, in water bottles — and the list goes on.

Many valid health concerns have been raised about poisonous chemicals present in our everyday plastics, and the headlines about these toxins leaching into our food are frightening. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found, for instance, that food containers labeled as “microwave safe” leached BPA when heated. (See our report, “BPA turns up in ‘microwave safe’ products“.)