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Tagged : plastic-bags


Dallas follows Austin with action against plastic bags; San Francisco enacts partial bag ban

March 27th, 2014

Two US cities took significant steps to thwart plastic waste this month. Dallas managed to pass fees for disposable bags, while San Francisco ventured into the fraught bottled water debate.

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Bag ban to reduce waste in landfill

March 17th, 2013

Starting Friday, disposable plastic and paper bags are banned at all retailers in the city. Exceptions include thicker bags with handles, laundry, newspapers, dry cleaners and waste bags.

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Los Angeles becomes largest city in the US to enact plastic bag ban

May 23rd, 2012

Los Angeles became the largest city in the US to pass a plastic bag ban, when the City Council voted 13 to 1 today to disallow the use of plastic bags in supermarkets.

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Don’t let dirty tote bags scare you, just get better ones

February 1st, 2011

Reusable shopping bags, which once seemed like such a no-brainer solution to the problem of proliferating plastic bags and single-use paper bags, became the focus of a micro-scandal late last year when some of the bags turned up with traces of lead in them.

These bags, which were apparently made in China and contained lead in the painted branding, were recalled or discontinued by most of the grocery stores involved. Wegman’s, Publix, Safeway and others stopped selling the offending bags.

But opponents of reusable bags — that is to say, plastic bag makers and their lobbyists – had a holiday. They declared the death of the reusable bag trend and decorated tree branches with discarded plastic bags to celebrate. (Calm down, I’m kidding.)

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Lowe’s offers more recycling options to customers

September 29th, 2010

Lowe's new recycling centers collect batteries, lightbulbs and plastic bags.


Recycling in earnest can make a person crazy. Maybe you’ve got curbside pick up for plastic bottles and newspapers. But what about batteries, cell phones, CFL light bulbs, printer ink cartridges, cardboard boxes and old computers? These harder-to-recycle items often comprise the clutter in our garages and mud rooms as they wait patiently for someone to haul them to the appropriate place.
Lowe’s stores are trying to make that task a little easier. The home improvement chain announced today that it has installed 1,700 recycling centers in nearly 1,700 stores across the U.S. that will collect and recycle rechargeable batteries, cell phones, unbroken CFLs and plastic shopping bags.

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Brownsville, Texas, says yes to plastic bag fee

September 13th, 2010

Brownsville, Texas, recently amended a voluntary plastic bag ban to add a $1 surcharge on shoppers each time they choose to use plastic bags. The ordinance will become effective Jan. 1, 2011. City officials said revenue from the surcharge will be be used for environmental programs in the city.

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Time to cross off plastic bags off our grocery list

September 1st, 2010

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.

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Bagging the bags: How I beat the plastic for a week

June 5th, 2009

By Sommer Saadi
Green Right Now

As I unloaded my groceries onto the conveyor belt, I realized I was buying more than could fit in my reusable bags.

“Can you try to fit everything in these?” I asked, handing over my assortment of canvas totes.

“I can try,” the cashier answered. “But it’s no big deal, I can just use plastic bags for whatever we can’t fit into the ones you brought.”

“Oh no,” I said. “No plastic bags. Please.”

She stared back at me. She had already stretched out a plastic bag and was ready to load.

“I have this thing,” I told her. “I just really hate plastic bags.”

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Berkeley to be the first farmers market to nix plastic bags

April 7th, 2009

By Laura Elizabeth May
Green Right Now

Berkeley Farmers Markets announced Monday that it will be the first farmers market to eliminate the use of plastic bags and packaging from their three weekly markets. They will be hosting a Zero Waste Event on April 25 from 10 a.m. – 3p.m to kick off the new campaign.

“Berkeley, a city known for its progressive politics, is once again taking the lead by phasing out plastic bags and packaging at its farmers’ markets,” said Ben Feldman, Program Manager of the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets, in a statement. The plastic bags are harmful for the environment and can take up to 400 to 1000 years to break down. The markets now encourage shoppers to bring their own cloth bags or previously used paper or plastic bags.

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Want to use fewer plastic bags? Here’s how

February 11th, 2009

By Robert Lilienfeld
Green Right Now

My New Year’s Resolution

Fifteen years ago, the big environmental issue making headlines was whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. We were supposedly going to be buried by the disposables, as they were filling up our landfills so fast that we would soon run out of places to put our trash. To better understand the problem, my co-author, Dr. William Rathje of The Garbage Project at the University of Arizona, was dispatched by a variety of environmental, government and business groups to study the composition of landfills all across America.

What Bill and his associates found was not at all what people expected them to find. Diapers were actually a rather small part of the typical landfill makeup. Also, when all the data on production, transportation, water and energy usage were factored into the equation, the data indicated that disposable diapers might actually produce less environmental impact than cloth ones.

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Toronto aims big, with planned bans of plastics and toxic waste disclosure law

December 4th, 2008

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Guess what city just mandated that businesses disclose their toxic chemicals, put a five cent price tag on plastic bags and set up a future ban on the sale of bottled water at city-owned centers as well as plastic take-out food containers?

Portland? San Francisco? They’ve taken some similar measures. But no, the latest municipality to get aggressive with consumer waste is Toronto, Canada’s largest and apparently greenest city.

This week the Toronto City Council set in motion a sweeping effort aimed at reducing the number of plastic disposables – grocery bags, water bottles and take-out cartons – that wind up in the local landfill.

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Can plastic bag charges generate change?

November 13th, 2008

By Harriet Blake

By now, most people are familiar with the ubiquitous bright green (and blue and pink) totes that supermarkets are touting to replace hard-to-recycle plastic bags.
Many customers dutifully carry them to and from grocery shopping each week, often receiving 3 to 4 cents in return. But what about those folks who are less conscientious?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has a solution: charge shoppers six cents for each plastic bag they use. The mayor’s proposal is a work in progress, but environmental groups are pleased.

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