Nationwide Efforts Against Plastic Bags


There’s no denying it. Single-use disposable plastic bags are suffocating the planet, with 60,000 plastic bags being consumed in the U.S. every 5 seconds. They don’t recycle and are forming plastic islands in the ocean. An alternative solution is to use re-usable, sutrdy, and washable totes such as the “THANK YOU THANK YOU” tote. Request to Purchase Tote So what initiatives are countries taking?

The first nationwide ban on plastic bags was enacted over a decade ago in Bangladesh, after plastic bags blocked storm drains, causing massive floods. In 2004 Sydney’s Oyster Bay in Australia banned plastic bags outright. Rwanda has been completely plastic bag-free for many years. Towns in England have been following suit, beginning with the town of Modbury which went plastic bag-free in 2007. China banned plastic bags in 2008 and in the first year of doing so they eliminated the use of over 40 billion single-use plastic bags. India’s capital, New Delhi has passed tough laws that ban retailers from handing out plastic bags and can result in fines or jail time for plastic-bag manufacturers. The state of South Australia banned plastic bags in 2009, and Mexico City banned stores from supplying plastic bags to customers the same year. Ireland’s 15-cent fee on every plastic bag reduced usage by 90% in the first 3 months, and Italy has been the first European country to ban plastic bags outright. Switzerland, Holland and Germany have had no-bag policies for many years now, with all new plastic bags carrying fees.

Now for a look at the U.S. In 2007, San Francisco became the first American city to ban plastic bags in specific stores, and similar bans now exists in coastal North Carolina and Portland. By Earth Day 2008 Whole Foods Market had stopped using plastic bags across its stores completely. In 2010 Washington, D.C. imposed a plastic bag fee that instantly reduced plastic bag use from 22.5 million to 3 million per month. Meanwhile, 30 rural communities in Alaska have banned plastic bags, while more bans are due to take effect in Texas, Hawaii, American Samoa and Maui. In 2011 Chestertown, in Maryland, introduced a plastic bag ban. This year, Aspen, Colorado has banned grocers from handing out plastic bags and added a 20 cent fee to paper bags too. Other cities across the U.S. have legislature on plastic ban sales that will come into effect later this year.

via OneGreenPlanet