Everyone knows the harm plastics are bringing to the world, especially to marine animals and waterways. In an effort to reduce the harm done by plastics New York state is banning single use plastic bags. This is a great step due to the sheer size of their population and will hopefully pace the way for more states to follow (California already banned them). Way to go New York!
The plan would have an additional element allowing counties to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, revenue that would go to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund as well as a separate fund to buy reusable bags for consumers.
In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Cuomo said that “these bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways,” adding that the plan agreed to in Albany would be a way to “protect our natural resources for future generations of New Yorkers.”
Chile is set to be the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags in coastal cities. Given the extent of Chile’s coastline this can make for a very positive impact on cleaning up our oceans. Plastic bags are a major threat to maritime life so any reduction in use of plastic bags helps the planet. Hopefully Chile’s upcoming ban will inspire other nations to follow suit!
“It will allow citizens to contribute in terms of ocean protection. Thus, we will be the first American country to implement a law of this nature”, added.
Such measure is of vital importance to marine species as these are negatively affected by the presence of plastic in the sea. They are even likely to perish due to the so-called buoyancy disorders.
According to data provided by the Chilean Ministry of the Environment, 90% of sea birds have a certain type of plastic in their stomachs, which urges to pass a law on the matter, specially given that studies foresee that, by 2050, there will be as many fish as plastic in the sea.
“These bags are junk, whether you want to call them biodegradable or not. They end up in the same place: blowing around the streets or in landfill,” said Councillor David Shiner, a member of Mr. Ford’s executive who surprised many by introducing the ban.
“Let’s get rid of the plastic bags. Let’s make today a real statement. Let’s tell the industry that we’re not accepting your baloney any more,” he said.
Mr. Shiner said he didn’t know he was going to move the motion until partway through the debate. He based the language largely on Seattle’s recently passed ban on bags. Retailers will still be allowed to sell or give away single-use paper bags, he said, using the example of retailers such as provincial liquor stores and some department stores who already offer free paper bags to customers.
This piece of news caught me off guard, I had no idea that they were even considering such a measure. The ban will come into effect on 1 June 2008 and not only does it forbid the use of plastic bags in stores, but it also forbids the production of the bags. I have no idea whether the ban will impact bags made for export, I hope it does.
China uses too many of the bags and fails to dispose of them properly, wasting valuable oil and littering the country, China’s cabinet, the State Council, said in a notice.
“Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year. While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, and waste of energy and resources, because of excessive use and inadequate recycling,” it said.
Worries about pollution are growing among ordinary citizens, as years of breakneck growth take their toll on the country’s air and water, but the new ban may not be universally welcomed.
Late last year the southern boom town of Shenzhen sparked a public controversy by unveiling draft regulations to ban free plastic bags in its shops.