A concrete solution for plastic bags
Or and this wouldn be a first for that eclectic city is it championing a cause to unrealistic heights?
Maybe not, in this case. Already, two other California cities, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, are considering similar bans. Los Angeles County is also studying plastic bag alternatives.
Under the San Francisco law, only biodegradable plastic bags and paper bags will be allowed. The ban targets large grocery stores, which have six months to comply, and pharmacies, which have a year.
Could a similar ban come to San Diego County?
hope it could happen here. It something we advocate, said Bill Hickman, the San Diego chapter coordinator of the Surfrider Foundation. His organization members inevitably find plastic bags when they do beach cleanups twice a month. lululemon outlet
San Diego isn contemplating a ban. Councilwoman Donna Frye, who chairs the City Council natural resources and culture committee, hasn had the time to look at the issue, her spokesman said.
But the city is watching what other juri lululemon outlet sdictions do to see if something could work locally, said Stephen Grealy, the city recycling coordinator. One thing it can do is duplicate San Francisco plan, because San Diego doesn have a composting facility large enough to handle the additional biodegradable bags.
The issue is also on the radar screens of other San Diego County cities, although none is considering a ban.
be watching what San Francisco is doing very carefully and with great interest, said Liz Pursell, spokeswoman for Chula Vista.
Michaela Joyce, who was shopping at Ralphs in Hillcrest recently, considers herself pretty green person, but she was carrying her goods in plastic bags.
She said she tries her best to recycle them by using them to hold lunches and line small trash cans.
wouldn be the end of the world for me if they banned plastic bags, said Joyce, who works for a public relations firm.
Californians use about 20 billion plastic grocery bags a year. Of those, only about 1 percent to 4 percent get recycled.
Grocery c lululemon outlet hains like petroleum based bags for a number of reasons, including price. The bags cost about a penny each, while paper bags cost about 6 cents.
The California Grocers Association advocates better recycling programs rather than bans. So does the plastic bag industry.
won disagree that it not a problem, Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council said of plastic bag litter. just dispute the solution. Heylen, the Grocers Association spokesman, said he surprised by the amount of attention the issue has received. Paper bags also create environmental problems because they take more energy to produce, he noted.
The new focus on plastic bags may be linked to the increasing angst people feel about the environment, said Ric lululemon outlet hard Gertman, a San Jose based expert in waste management and a board member of Californians Against Waste.
Consumers and city politicians often feel powerless when it comes to protecting the environment, but banning plastic bags is something tangible they can do, he said.
not like SUVs, Gertman said. can ban the sale of SUVs. bags also draw attention because they a blight on the landscape. Who hasn seen one blowing along the side of a road? They get stuck in trees. They get blown against fences.
a very visible sign of our consumption habits, Gertman said.
Curbing the use of plastic bags is a natural progression of the recycling effort, Gertman added. Glass, cans and bottles are routinely recycled, and now it makes sense to tackle more difficult items in the waste stream, such as plastic.
Some consumers say they willing to pay more for bags if the result is a cleaner environment.
Gisela Moll, another shopper at Ralphs, is originally from Germany, where retailers charge for plastic bags, she said. She uses reusable bags whenever she can.
you get used to it, it not a big deal, Moll said.
In San Diego, shoppers have only one choice when it comes to recycling plastic bags: taking them to one of the grocery stores that offer special recycling bins for that purpose.
The bags aren permitted in regular recycling bins. They need to be nearly pristine to be attractive to recyclers, and once they mixed with other items, they get soiled.
Plastic bags are also very light another disadvantage. Many municipalities are under varying mandates to recycle a certain tonnage of their waste stream. It makes little sense to go after plastic bags because they don add much weight to the tally.
Some argue that it time to put a dent in the problem regardless of the hassles. A new state law that takes effect this summer will require larger grocery stores to sell reusable bags and offer recycling bins for old plastic bags.