Banning grocery bags? Austin perhaps to follow San Fran
This morning I heard on the radio that Austin's City Council was going to debate whether to follow San Fransisco's lead in banning plastic grocery bags. The HEB and Central Market and Whole Food stores here already sell canvas bags for people to use in lieu of them, but banning the plastic bags would have a great impact on our local landfills:
Paper or plastic? Not anymore in San Francisco.
The city's Board of Supervisors approved groundbreaking legislation Tuesday to outlaw plastic checkout bags at large supermarkets in about six months and large chain pharmacies in about a year.
The ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, is the first such law in any city in the United States and has been drawing global scrutiny this week.
Mirkarimi's legislation is one in a string of environmentally sensitive measures -- such as outlawing Styrofoam food containers and encouraging clean-fuel construction vehicles at city job sites -- adopted by the city in recent months.
"It's really exciting," Jared Blumenfeld, director of the city's Department of the Environment, said after the vote on Tuesday. "We're thrilled. It's been a long time in the making."
Blumenfeld said it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to manufacture 100 million bags. Compostable bags can be recycled in the city's green garbage bins and will make it more convenient for residents to recycle food scraps, he said.
Recycling of paper bags also is far more active today than it was when the plastic bag was first introduced to U.S. consumers
I hope the City of Austin will follow suit. I remember in Holland that for certain stores, you'd bring your own (canvas type) bag when buying something and I don't see why people cannot buy their own. It might also make people more conscious of what and how much they buy when they have to pay attention.
For more on garbage bags, check out World Watch Institute