Plastic bag ordinance needs a rewrite
fake rolex If you enact a pro fake rolex environment ordinance, you shouldn’t leave out a big piece of what makes it pro environment.
But that’s what the City Council is poised to do Wednesday when it will take up a measure to ban plastic retail bags in major stores by next August and smaller stores the year after that.
The ordinance, which is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, should be rewritten to require consumers to pay 10 cents to get a paper bag. Otherwise consumers and stores will be tempted to switch from plastic to paper bags, which are not an environmental improvement over plastic.
fake rolex Paper degrades more quickly in landfills, but paper bags require more energy to produce, and it takes seven truckloads of paper to replace one of plastic. Transporting paper bags burns more oil and releases more greenhouse gases.
A small fee on paper bags would not be a financial burden, but it would encourage the use of reusable bags. Of the more than 100 local governments in California that ban plastic bags, all require a paper bag fee except for two, which ban paper bags, too, according to the advocacy group Environment California.
Many people already own reusable bags, but they have to be encouraged to use them. A cotton bag must be used 131 times and a non woven bag must be used about 27 times before they have an environmental advantage over plastic, according to Hilex Poly Co., a plastic bag manufacturer. Reusable bags don’t help if they are just riding around unused in someone’s trunk.
The city is right to address the problem of plastic bags, which take years to break down in landfills and which cost money to remove from sewers and the Chicago River. Plastic retail bags also litter the urban environment when they get stuck in bushes and trees.
But banning plastic bags will impose costs on retailers and, ultimately, consumers. There’s no point to a plastic bag ban that does not discourage the use of paper bags as well, fake rolex if the aim is to be more environmentally friendly.