State backs off big bold move to ban paper
Me, I have lots of reusables, bought cheap at markets and drug stores. Sometimes I even remember to bring them into the store with me.
So I got all enthused last year about a big, bold draft report from our state Department of Environmental Protection that recommended a five year phase out of those paper or plastic handout bags we’ve gotten so used to.
Would it work? San Francisco reports up to 127 million fewer plastic bags were distributed a year after its ban went into effect. A single reusable bag can reportedly replace hundreds of throw away plastic ones annually. So it sure sounded like a progressive push against those plastic bags that threaten our wildlife, clog our storm drains and generally trash the place and a big, bold move for Florida.
Big and bold is apparently not to be.
This month, the DEP issued a milder, more inclusive final report to the Legislature, this version including a dozen options, from an educational campaign to a ban.
That big, bold initial recommendation? The north face jackets DEP said that “after further review,” the draft did not include all options.
Bottom line: All those choices could give lawmakers plenty of wiggle room to do, well, pretty much nothing new. Sure, public education’s great. Any plan needs it. Actual motivation would be even better.
So what’s the smack talk against getting rid of throwaway bags?
The Florida Retail Federation cites customer convenience and doesn’t like one rule for all stores. People who reuse bags for dog duty or trash liners object but remember, that’s a single reuse, and only 12 percent of plastic bags are actually reused or recycled anyway.
There’s this: The bag ban’s escalating fee it would cost you a nickel to get one at the store, rising to a quarter in the fourth year brought north face jackets up north face jackets a word that makes politicians choke on their Cheerios: tax. Also interesting: In listing the pros and cons of each option, the DEP report says a “con” of a bag ban is potential job loss in plastic bag manufacturing and plastic recycling industries.
Okay, so enough on being disappointed. The report is an interesting read anyway, if lawmakers don’t go for the most do nothing options. It explores recycling, fees and offering biodegradable bags. Here’s an interesting north face jackets tidbit: The DEP says opting for paper over plastic is not the answer because the life cycle of a paper bag, from making it to disposing of it, has “a higher level of environmental harm.”
The report mentions possible pilot programs for Florida communities already interested in dealing with the bag problem though local governments were thwarted from individually banning plastic bags in 2008.