UN calls for ban on plastic bags, plus Washington DC on the brink of charging five cents per plastic bag at stores!

Another step towards lessening and eliminating the use of plastic bags! Washington DC is on the brink of charging five cents per plastic bag in retail stores, thereby encouraging people to bring their own bags. And San Francisco has already outlawed plastic bags (with Los Angeles to follow in 2010). I love it that I can’t walk 10 feet in a Publix or Kroger or Target without seeing reusable bags for sale. And, even better, people using them in the checkout line!

In addition to DC’s initiative (which hopefully other states and municipalities will soon follow), the United Nations has now called for a ban of plastic bags altogether. In 2008, the Ocean Conservancy stated that plastic bags were the second most prevalent form of litter in our seas (cigarette butts took first place).

“Single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme. His office advises U.N. member states on environmental policies.

Steiner’s declaration accompanied a UNEP report that identifies plastic as the most pervasive form of ocean litter. According to the report, “Plastic, the most prevalent component of marine debris, poses hazards because it persists so long in the ocean, degrading into tinier and tinier bits that can be consumed by the smallest marine life at the base of the food web.”

Neither of these concepts is new. I’m pretty sure the practice of charging for plastic bags can be traced back to ancient Europe and, in China, the ban is already in effect with heavy fines for violation. Now, we just have to get Atlanta and Decatur on board!

You can read more by clicking here and here!
(And thanks to my brother for sending this along!)

One Response to “UN calls for ban on plastic bags, plus Washington DC on the brink of charging five cents per plastic bag at stores!”
  1. I watched a bagboy tonight at Kroger double bag every single bag that he put in the cart…unbelievable. Bring it Georgia, why wouldn’t we charge for the bag? Not to mention what it would do to the bottom line of grocery stores…

    Carson Matthews

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