Archive for Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Plastic bag ban?

August 7, 2012


To the editor:

Plastic bags litter the landscape and end up in landfills where they take up to 1,000 years to degrade. They are also a threat to birds who ingest them and die by the thousands. Of course, it takes millions of barrels of oil annually to produce them.

Due to these environmental problems, cities such as Austin, Texas, and Bellingham, Wash., are requiring retailers to stop furnishing plastic bags to consumers. Will Lawrence be the first city in Kansas to protect the environment by implementing a plastic bag ban?


pooter 5 years, 9 months ago

Only if we can have shopping sacks made from Kansas grown hemp.

Hemp, the Nation's most useful universal perpetual resource it has yet totally ignores.


Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

We pay for our insurance, so isn't my lung disease none of your business?

Granted, the trash on the left is trying to make my lung disease your business, but they haven't stated taking from you to support my health care, yet.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 9 months ago

Hemp is no more a drug than a Coleman lantern is. One would never look at a lantern and say "that's meth". Yet without that lantern, the meth would never have been cooked. Coleman lanterns, like hemp, have tremendous utility in the world, but clearly it's time to ban them, right bornagain?

kernal 5 years, 9 months ago

The only high you could get from hemp would be if you hyperventilate, but you probably already know that.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 9 months ago

BornAgainAmerican your remark is totally unacceptable. You owe an apology to kernal. Nam was hell and nothing to be used as a cheap joke.

Topple 5 years, 9 months ago

Your being offended does not entitle you or anyone else to an apology. In fact, it entitles you and anyone else to nothing.

What is unacceptable is that you think you can tell people how to act and what to say.

Welcome to America, land of the free to say what we want, regardless of who it offends.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 9 months ago

Most"Choomers" know the difference between hemp and smokeable marijuana.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, do let us pass knee-jerk dumb regulations like other havens of disappointed progressives. It should be such fun.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Nothing humans do to the planet matters? Tell that to all the people in the region of Chernobyl.
No, plastic bags aren't as corrosive to the environment as radiation. I'm not in favor of the ban that Mr. Coan advocates. But when you ridicule preserving the natural environment and conserving resources, FalseHopeNoChange, and characterize these issues as "liberal" ones, you reveal just how uninformed you are about science--and politics.

JayCat_67 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey Voe, In my LJWorld dictionary: False=Not, Hope=Worth, No=My, Change=Time. Look it up sometime. ;-)

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm amazed that there are actually people who wake up every day and think, "You know what? We need more government control of our lives. That'd fix things."

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

Government control? Oh, you mean like when those bastards realized DDT had long term negative effects on population and wildlife?

We live in a country that runs through enough disposable diapers to cover the state of Texas every five years; they won't degrade for decades. Curbing plastic use - bags/bottles/boxes - is freaking common sense, not "control."

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, 'my' bad. I thought we 'were' talking 'about' OUR government. Though I'm sure the Stockholm Convention was full of it; of course widespread use of DDT curbs mosquito population; damn the fish and wildlife it will devastate. The 'babies' will survive and grow up to feel the effects of cancer, diabetes, birth defects, and hormone disruption. Nice. Perhaps we should take out the suspense and stunt malaria by dropping H-bombs.

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

Paper or plastic . . . the burn barrel don't care.

Getaroom 5 years, 9 months ago

The same old song and dance from FHNC. The choice to live in a world with knee deep trash, which we humans create staggering amounts of everyday, is no longer a viable choice. Yes, the World/Earth will certainly "go on" but why keep generating more and more needless trash? Even you ought to be able to figure that one out without the help of this cut and paste article that has nothing to do with improving the quality of life. Besides being self serving to the profit makers, it's an insult to to those who do care about tomorrow, in this life, not the next. You are Conservative just for the sake of being one and it is awash with the thinking of the elite and entitled. Everything B/W and all tied up in a bow, waiting to explode. Put your "conservative moral fiber" in a plastic bag and smoke it if you like , but the rest of us will take paper or hemp bags thank you very much. Give yourself enough rope to hang yourself and surely you will, even if that rope is made of "Evil Hemp"!

Topple 5 years, 9 months ago

Piggly I haven't seen one of those in like twenty years.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"where they take up to 1,000 years to degrade"

Grocery store bags will deteriorate in a year or two. That's what they are designed to do. But even so, why is it a big deal? We know more about our civilization because of digging in old dumps. It's a record of who we are. 500 years from now, those plastic bags will be gone and the guys searching through our trash will conclude all of our food came in glass jars.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Among the amazing things archeologists have learned from old dumps is how communities self-destruct after using up natural resources and degrading the environment.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

Put your arugula in your NPR tote bag and drive your Prius home to sit on the veranda and admire the topiary.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, on the warships from about 1790 to 1840 they used good thick hemp rope . The sailors took great pride in having long hair which they wore back in a braid and would, if their hair was short or thin, augment with strands of the rope which they had pulled apart. It was used to fill the area between the planks on the side of the ship as they would expand and contract and then covered with waterproof tar. In the southern latitudes it would be hot enough to melt the tar which gave us the phrase, to run like smoke and oakum. Oakum being the shredded hemp rope. There are many products that could be made from hemp which would be sturdy and durable.

somedude20 5 years, 9 months ago

If you take my plastic bags, then I will just use one of those 89 ounce styrofoam soda cups to put my groceries in. You can take the plastic bag from my cold dead hand!

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

I fully expect this to be Aron Cromwell's coups de grâce before leaving office. Hopefully forever.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 9 months ago

An outright ban would not immediately work. The first step would be to charge people an additional 10 cents or so for each plastic bag used and then counter that with a 5 cent discount for bringing your own bags.

You have to slowly alter the behavior and build habits, can't just nix it entirely.

Clark Coan 5 years, 9 months ago

Stores didn't even furnish plastic bags until about 1970 and we got along fine with paper. I suspect we used cloth or canvass bags a century ago. In Europe about everyone used cloth or canvass bags until recently.

We used to have deposit on refillable soda pop bottles until about 1965 when disposable containers took over. We got along fine and had less litter.

JayCat_67 5 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I remember deposits on soda bottles up into the late 70's. But yeah, that made a lot more sense.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

  1. Plastic bags line our waste baskets. What would we use if there were no more plastic bags.
  2. Plastic bags scrunch the groceries. Paper bags work better.
  3. Plastic bags swing from the trees around commercial areas like Walmart and Westlake's. That's unsightly.

I guess I'll wait to see what happens. It's not high on my priority list either way.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

We have put our Coleman coolers to work as grocery bags. Yep take them to the store. And they can work well in a Burley as well.

Or simply load the burley for any type of shopping

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

Analysis from FORTUNE: Plugged In
Saving the world - one plastic bag at a time

Government, environmentalists and even a few businesses want to put an end to plastic pollution, says Fortune's Marc Gunther.

FORTUNE Magazine By Marc Gunther, Fortune March 15 2007: 9:56 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Paper or plastic?

The attacks on plastic bags have had a big impact outside of the U.S. Ireland placed a "PlasTax" of about 20 cents on each bag, reducing plastic bag use by about 90 percent. South Africa also taxes plastic bags, and they were banned entirely in Mumbai, India.

Now the battles are coming to the U.S. Over the objections of local supermarkets, including Safeway (Charts) and Albertsons, San Francisco is on the verge of passing a city law that would require supermarkets to provide compostable bags - made from paper, corn or potato starch - instead of plastic. Los Angeles officials are studying the impact of plastic bags on marine life, as a prelude to action.

Businesses are taking up the issue. The Swedish home furnishings store Ikea says that, starting March 15, it will charge 5 cents for plastic bags, and sell reusable cloth bags at cost, for 59 cents, as part of its "Bag the Plastic Bag" initiative. Ikea will donate the 5 cents that it gets for each plastic bag to the non-profit American Forests to plant trees.

What's wrong with plastic bags? Lots. They often wind up as litter, or in trees. They drift into oceans and rivers and kill fish. They can take 1,000 years to decompose. And every time we use a plastic bag, we drive up the demand for oil - which is used to make plastics.

According to EPA, which has a Webpage about shopping bags, the U.S. consumes about 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps a year. Fewer than 5 percent are recycled.

Plastic bags are unnecessary and a "really, really huge litter issue for the city," Blumenfeld says. It costs taxpayers $90 every time a city worker in a cherry-picker goes out to remove plastic bags from a tree.

The supermarkets are fighting the idea, of course. Peter Larkin, president of the California Grocers Association, says a ban on plastic bags is unfair and impractical because it does not affect drugstores or convenience stores and because plastics would enter the city anyway, from the suburbs or elsewhere.

In a surprisingly entertaining book about packaging called "Paper or Plastic? Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World" (Sierra Club Books, 2005), Daniel Imhoff digs into the "paper or plastic" question to illuminate the environmental impact of each choice:

"Use cloth bags," Imhoff told me. "Have a bunch of them, and keep them in your car."

Yes, it takes a little planning but "if we can't solve these problems by making little changes, we're really in trouble."

John Hampton 5 years, 9 months ago

I hate plastic bags. I've gathered about 20 reusable shopping bags over the last few years.

They are popular give away items at many events. I haven't paid for one yet.

I try to take them everytime I grocery shop..... bonus: the handles have never broken on me and they hold a whole lot more per bag.

I'm done here.

msezdsit 5 years, 9 months ago

come on boston, thats just silly to do something so simple as use a reusable bag. Thats just to easy.

msezdsit 5 years, 9 months ago

The community mercantile quit handing out plastic bags a while back and natural grocers does not give out plastic bags at the check out lane. They still use them at various places in the store. So, what did they accomplish ? Well, since you can't get plastic bags at the check out lane, you can simply put items in the plastic bags around the store. Of coarse, the bags aren't quite as big so you just have to use more of them. Sometimes when you think your addressing a problem, you might just be making it worse.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

If we could only develop pouches like kangaroos, we wouldn't need any sort of grocery bags.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.