Here's an editorial that appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune. What do you think of Anchorage banning plastic bags?
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Plastic bag? Say goodbye
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Published: January 30th, 2008 08:07 AM
Last Modified: January 30th, 2008 08:07 AM
The following editorial appeared Monday, Jan. 28, in the Chicago Tribune:
When San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi helped make his city the first in the U.S. to ban plastic shopping bags early last year, he said that he hoped other cities and states would follow suit. Turns out he was dreaming far too small.
The Chinese government recently banned one type of particularly flimsy plastic bag and stipulated that other sorts may no longer be given away for free. The Chinese government is encouraging people to revert to an old habit - using reusable cloth bags when they shop.
Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Taiwan and the city of Mumbai have banned or taken steps to discourage the use of disposable plastic bags. Australia is considering a full-scale ban by the end of the year. So is the city of London.
The grocery chain Whole Foods just announced that its 270 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom will stop handing out plastic bags by Earth Day, April 22.
The aim in all these efforts: reduce oil consumption and litter. Americans use tens of billions of plastic bags each year. Many wind up in our waterways, where they are a danger to marine animals. According to the Ocean Conservancy, its International Coastal Cleanup program yields hundreds of thousands of plastic bags each year.
Plastic bags are strong, lightweight and about the only thing you'd want to use to tote your groceries in a rainstorm. And, yes, they work as a handy pooper scooper.
But we can use plastic bags more judiciously. Chinese officials say their ban will reduce use by more than 60 percent and save more than 37 million barrels of oil used in the production of the bags each year.
Reducing the reliance on plastics is not going to solve the world's environmental problems. But it will make the place a little cleaner and greener.