The Battle to Ban Bags in America
An article on RIA Novosti recently has addressed the battle against plastic bags that America is currently engaged in, and discusses the fact that plastic bags have effectively become a symbol of excess in America. According to the article, which was written over the weekend, San Francisco's recent legislation to ban plastic bags has been one of the more noticable events amongst a growing number of towns looking to enact plastic bag bans.
[Jennie] Romer, who for years has worked with San Francisco lawmakers drafting policies that are currently in place, says she’s contacted daily by towns across the country looking for assistance in creating bag ordinances of their own.
Back in 2007, charging fees for plastic shopping bags or banning them was unheard of in the U.S. Once San Francisco’s legislation passed, it quickly spread throughout the state and across the nation.
According to the Campaign for Recycling, a U.S. nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, municipalities in 12 states plus Washington, DC have passed a ban or fee. Seven other states have pending legislation.
In most cities, Romer says, bags are still free. “So no one sees any value in them. Every day I walk to work and see 10-15 plastic bags blowing in the wind. They end up in storm drains, water waste and in the ocean. Plastic bags are something you use for five minutes, but they exist forever,” said Romer.
Despite opposition from chemical and plastics companies, a steady change is occurring in America. While each city has its own motivations for passing such ordinances (not all of which stem from the environment), bans have continued to ensure people change their consumptive practices across the country. For more information on America's battle against plastic bags, please see the full article here.