Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Put down that plastic!

Ah, it seems like it was just yesterday when plastics were still the future. These days, you'd think the stuff had grown horns and begun spouting blasphemies, based on the way more and more cities and retail chains are treating the stuff.

Truth is, certain kinds of plastic are dangerous. They don't break down in landfills, and many of them require nonrenewable petroleum in their creation. Madison's Commission on the Environment voted overwhelmingly in favor of taking up a plastic reduction bill this year, one that would ban plastic grocery store bags in general and plastic water bottles at public events. Already, several cities, countries and companies have joined in the effort to reduce overall plastic usage:

  • San Fransisco - first city in the nation to outright ban the use of plastic shopping bags.
  • Australia - working to ban plastic bags.
  • China - recently announced an outright ban on stores handing out free plastic bags.
  • Ireland - charges a tax of 15 cents per bag, a move that has allegedly reduced plastic usage by 90% and has "raised millions of euros in revenue."
  • IKEA - charges 5 cents for each plastic bag, giving portion of proceeds to American Forests.
  • Whole Foods - just announced that it will use only offer customers recycled paper and reusable bags, getting rid of plastic all-together.
Madison calls itself a progressive city, and this move would help us live up to the name. As you can see from the above list, a plastic bag and bottle reduction plan wouldn't be as bizarre and infeasible as some of those in the opposing camp might have us believe. It would be part of the very welcome and much needed green revolution that's slowly but surely taking hold worldwide.

It'd be a first step in the right direction, anyway. We use a heck of a lot of plastic, so there's a long way to go yet. Don't be discouraged, though:

Contact your alder in support of the ban!

Sign the Plastic Reduction Petition to press the EPA for action on this issue!


M Big Mistake said...

One thing I don't understand is...why are all these cities rushing to ban bottled water...but no one seems to care about all the OTHER drinks that are bottled in plastic? I know bottled water is not regulated well and tap is probably safer or just as good...but I don't get why they just aren't banning plastic bottles in general...rather than singling out water.

Emily said...

I see your point, but one step at a time I guess. I suspect you've already touched on part of the reason bottled water is more heavily focused on, as it's not regulated, and the idea of having to get your water from private companies is, as it should be, a bit off-putting.

We should be working to clean up our municipal water sources instead of relying no the bottled stuff.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that you cannot make anyone happy? Environmentalists as a whole fight for the things on their agendas' and when those things are proposed then they don't want it. For example alternative energy. No EV (environmentalist) wants a Nuke plant they think it is unsafe. Which it is not! It's safer and more effecient then any other form of energy on a large scale. Can't have coal plants because they pollute. In spite of the FACT that they are far more effecient and cleaner than ever before in recorded history. So everyone screems for wind turbines. Then when energy companies try to put them in the EV's complain about the birds being hurt, or they might cause earth quakes. Ex, Fond Du Lac Co. wind farm. I mean what the hell? You either want it or you don't. Not to mention you would need to literally litter the landscape with wind turbines to even match the power produced by conventional means.

Years abo the EV's screamed for everyone to "save the trees" and use plastic grocery bags. Now i guess it's "Screw the trees and don't use plastic." I guess the EV's finally figured out that trees are a renewable resource and there are special trees specifically grown for paper production and nobody is slaughtering the poor rain forests for paper.

Now "Down with the plastic bottles!" is the current war cry. What, you guys finally figure out that the recycling band wagon isn't working out like you had hoped? Riddle me this How are you going to keep people from buying bottled water in Sun Prarie, or middleton and bringing ot home for consumption? I guess screw the consitution! Let's have the government control what we do in our own homes! If EV's want to be Socialists/Communists, please for the love of GOD move to china I think you will be happier there. Then you can leave the rest of us alone. I know that EV's and the people in Madison think that the rest of the population doesn't know what we are doing and it's their job to save us from ourselves. Guess what we can make our own decisions and protect ourselves, and do things that won't hurt others. Jamming more stupid laws down our thoats isn't making anyone better, safer, or healthier. You are just helping the government to trample our civil liberties and make us less free by the day.

While I am on my rant about EV's let's look at the ELF. Those people are just insane lunatics. How could they possible think they are helping the environment by burning Hummers and SUV's to the ground? Burning a Hummer to the ground produces more pollutants and toxins than it would produce in it's lifetime of driving on the street. On top of that they think it's ok to destroy someone elses property.

The average person is happy to conserve energy. Hell who wouldn't want a truck that gets 75 miles to the gallon? Forcing things down peoples throats is not the answer. It certainly isn't progressive. I guess it is progressive to the 2% of the people that are fighting for all of this.

I would hope you would have the integrity to post this on your blog. However it has been my experience when EV's, and liberals have someone who opposes their line of thinking they convienently sweep it under the rug as if it never happened. Maybe you can be the bigger person. Unfortunately I am not counting on it.


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