Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ban the bag in Rochester, NY?

 

Maybe Rochester should consider banning the bag. Seattle can do it and so should we. (See below.) Over a short period of time I suspect a total ban on plastic bags and a 5 cents cost on paper bags will reduce a lot of the waste that is flying about our City of Rochester’s trails, neighborhoods, and ponds.

If you can think of another way, other than passing a ‘ban-the-bag’ bill, please let me know. On their own, the indifferent, those who litter and think of our environment as their personal trash can, will not make an effort to recycle or use re-useable bags—that are becoming the rage in Rochester. The freedom to litter seems to be the first freedom that some wish to engage in as they begin to mature.

Many in New York State tried to prevent recent update to the New York's Bottle Bill - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation from happening but it happened and now there are less recyclable bottles and cans in our neighborhoods. In the future, as our environmental problems become more dear because of Climate Change, we are going to increasingly look towards regulations as the way to quickly solve what laissez-faire capitalism has failed to do: keep our environment sustainable. Climate Change in New York State is going to impact all environmental issues in our area by creating more stress and a moving target for what is considered worth preserving.

I don’ like more regulations myself, but until we adopt an economy that takes in the environmental degradation from unsound business practices, like providing free groceries bags by the zillions, that end up in our trees, our waters, our yards, and just about everywhere, we’re going to have to do something. And because business are so unlikely to limit customer choices, like ‘in order to shop here you must bring your own bags’, we the people are going to continue to enact more laws to prevent more environmental damage.

The movement against unlimited free plastic and paper bags is growing. Maybe it will take hold in Rochester, NY too.

Environmental Groups Applaud Seattle City Council for their Leadership on Bags — People For Puget Sound Bag ordinance passes: plastic bag ban, 5 cents on paper bags  | Seattle. The Seattle City Council today unanimously passed the Seattle Bag Ordinance (Council Bill 11734). This vote was applauded by the coalition of environmental groups – Environment Washington, Surfrider Foundation, People For Puget Sound, Sierra Club, Zero Waste Seattle, and others – who have been working to develop grassroots support for the ordinance. Special praise goes to Council Member Mike O’Brien for his leadership on the bag ordinance and the phone book opt-out ordinance last year. “This ordinance to ban plastic bags is part of a larger Zero Waste initiative that also includes a ban on styrofoam, citywide residential organics composting, and providing our residents and businesses with a chance to stop unwanted yellow pages deliveries. These are all concrete steps towards reducing unnecessary waste in Seattle,” said O’Brien. “We are saving the city money and we are reducing impacts on the environment. Building towards our waste reduction goals are also a key part of our overall efforts to be a carbon neutral city by 2050.”  (December 19, 2011)  People For Puget Sound: Our vision is a clean and healthy Puget Sound. — People For Puget Sound

And

Seattle Officials Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags : NPR The Seattle City Council voted Monday to ban single-use plastic bags from groceries and other retail stores, joining a growing trend among cities that embrace green values. The ordinance, which was approved unanimously following months of discussion and debate, takes effect in July 2012. It includes a provision to charge a nickel fee for the use of paper bags, to encourage people to bring their own bags when they go shopping. The paper bag fee is not unique. In Washington, D.C., businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge 5 cents for each carryout paper or plastic disposable bag. (December 19, 2011) Environment : NPR

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