Ban the plastic bag

RiRTIhgavQwjSsR-320x240-croppedThere is petition in NYC right now to bag the plastic bag.  I am all for it.  You can sign the petition here

When we lived in Paris for the summer, plastic bags were not available.  Everyone carried their own bags.  Environmentally it makes a huge amount of sense.  It is a no-brainer and doesn't take a lot to change our habits. 

Here is some information from the site:

Plastic bags cause damage to ocean marine life, street litter, and carbon emissions in their manufacture and shipping.

As Americans we use 102 billion grocery bags a year. They're a product with a useful life measured in hours and a waste life measured in centuries. 

Get the quick facts on plastic or read the Greenpleace report Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans for a more complete understanding.  

The debris that marine life consumes or that entangles them could well be a plastic shopping bag. Maybe one of ours. Maybe one of yours. 

Take a moment to think about that. You'll never look at a one-use plastic bag from the grocery store the same way again. 

This is something we can do. Plastic bag bans are spreading across the country. The city of Rye, New York just passed a ban. If Rye can do it, New York City can do it. 

By banning the bag, New York City can send a powerful signal that this great city can be an environmental leader. 

Please sign the petition to encourage the City Council to take up this issue again. And please share it with every New Yorker, and everyone who cares about the environment, that you know.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I’m in on this one.

  2. CV

    this short by Ramin Bahrani (narrated by Werner Herzog) pretty much says it all:…

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks i will watch it later today. there is no reason to have plastic bags, period.

  3. John Best

    We’ve switched to canvas. Not only are they more hardwearing, so no unexpected spills on the way home, but it also means we don’t end up with mountains of bags stashed in a cupboard somewhere. They need to go the way of leaded petrol and CFCs. 

  4. William Mougayar

    Yup. It’s a no-brainer. I love canvas bags & they are getting creative with various shapes, colors & prints, like the ones that holds 6 wine bottles.In the meantime, we have a mayor in Toronto that wants to repell the 5cents charge on plastic bags because he doesn’t get it.

  5. angrywayne

    While the regular citizen has a variety of ways they can end their personal use of plastic bags for shopping,etc., it seems that city, state and federal governments have made little movement towards, not just regulating, but encouraging business owners to use alternative to plastic bags and containers.Curious what your (and readers of this blog) thoughts are on strategies to mitigate commercial waste in plastic bags, containers, wrappers?  Amazon and other online retailers shipping without plastic? Sous vide without plastic? In my profession, food service, while we all may work hard to recycle,compost,and manage our waste we all are guilty of using TONS of plastic: garbage bags, plastic wrap, paper products that come in plastic wrap, etc. I think a lot of that is due to complacency in innovation and work habits, but a lot more of it is due to confusion, lack of direction or lack of commercial alternatives/incentives.  I’m all for recycling, being sustainable in selection and use of materials, however  I’ve found we end up fighting against foggy government regulations that require us to put our trash in bags. NYC Sanitation Code 16-120(a). Then we have an recycling sanitation law which give us the option to put them in plastic bags for residential and commercial (NYC Sanitation Code 16 RCNY 1-08(e)). In my experience, newcomers to the city see the bags and landlords misperceive the regulation and perpetuate the fallacy that bags are the only way to recycle. We have to change people behavior in massYou have to sit down and read the regulation to even understand that you can use a container without a bag, which I’m guessing few people do. I’ve had sanitation workers refuse to take the can because there was no bag, even though it was labeled.Thanks for posting this petition it’s a step in the right direction.

    1. Gotham Gal

      there should be a huge revolution to get rid of all the plastic used to ship items.years ago someone shipped me something with those small plastic kernels but these ones melted with water. i thought it was brilliant. i wish i’d see more of that.

  6. John Revay

    GREATI live in Fairfield, CT  – when we go to the grocery store which is located in the next town over – we either need to bring our reusable bags, or use brown paper bags.  The Town of Westport banned plastic bags about 2 years ago.I think it is Great

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is great.

  7. rebeccastees

    Going a little further…..Just read this……Via Swissmiss.In.gredients is a new package-free grocery store that is opening in Austin, Texas in the Summer of 2012. Its mission as the US’s first zero-waste, package-free grocery store will support local businesses and farmers, will sell based on seasonal rhythms of farming, will avoid processed foods, will reduce transportation costs and pollution, and will encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers.” 

    1. Gotham Gal

      that is very cool.

  8. Emily Merkle

    just linked to this on my blog….thanks!

  9. SallyBroom

    Great to see this movement happening. Interestingly they banned plastic bags in Rwanda back in the mid-90s. It might seem odd that a tiny, previously war-torn country in East Africa should be an environmental pioneer in this area but that’s what they did and it’s made an incredible difference to the country. You are not allowed into the country with any plastic bags (they explain kindly at immigration) and you soon realise when you travel around how clean and tidy the whole country is. Would be really good to see this happening in NYC too!

  10. EllaDyer

    Excellent cause and one close to my heart. Funny how we lag behind in many important areas; years ago, Europe began to charge for plastic bags, which caused most consumers to carry cloth ones with them. Thanks for sharing the petition; I’ll do the same.