Archive

Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

San Jose Bans Single Use Shopping Bags

October 8th, 2009 No comments

San Jose Says ‘Paper Nor Plastic’ by Trey Granger

When San Jose voted last week to address the use of disposable bags in grocery stores, it didn’t focus solely on plastic like many other bag bans. Starting in 2011, the city will not offer plastic or paper bags in its retail stores.

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the U.S., making it the largest city to have a bag ban at all. Paper bags that are made of at least 40 percent recycled content will still be offered, though, but consumers will still be charged a fee per bag.

Mayor Chuck Reed said a regional approach was the only way to effectively deal with the plastic-bag trash that collects on San Jose’s streets and in rural and urban waterways.

San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County, and at the press conference announcing the law, other Santa Clara city mayors were in attendance to show their support. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said he’s looking for neighboring cities to pass the same law, and also promoted the use of reusable bags as an alternative.

Plastic bags receive more negative attention because they are a major source of marine debris. However, paper bags have a large environmental footprint since it takes four times the energy to make a paper bag than its plastic counterpart.

From a disposal standpoint, both paper and plastic bags are recyclable. However, Earth911’s Local Recycling Search includes almost twice as many locations to recycle plastic bags as paper. This is because many grocery stores already collect plastic bags for recycling, whereas paper bag recycling is generally reserved for curbside programs and recycling centers.

Opponents of the measure are concerned about its effect on local businesses. “This will have a major financial impact on my business and disrupt the shopping patterns of my customers,” said Gian Rossini, owner of the Grocery Outlet store, which only provides plastic or reusable bags to its customers. “We have a very strong (plastic bag) recycling program and really encourage our customers to bring them back to be recycled.”

San Jose’s bag ban will not affect restaurants or non-profits. Its passage is also dependent on an environmental impact study that will be conducted by the city.

See full Earth911 article here: San Jose Says ‘Paper Nor Plastic’ by Trey Granger

Also, see San Jose Business Journal article:  San Jose takes the lead on plastic bag ban

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

North Carolina Law to Ban Plastic Bottles from Landfills

October 5th, 2009 1 comment

Earth911 article by Trey Granger

Under a new law that takes effect Oct. 1, North Carolina will be banning all rigid plastic containers from landfills. This includes any bottles with a neck smaller than the container itself.

The legislation was created back in 2005, and will focus largely on the recovery of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This plastic, commonly identified by the number “1″ inside a recycling symbol on the bottle, is the resin of choice for most soda and water bottles.

North Carolina is also building the nation’s largest facility to recycle PET bottles, which will able to process 280 million pounds of material per year. One of the primary partners in this venture is carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries Group, LLC, which can turn recycled PET into polyester for use in carpeting.

North Carolina is already home to the second largest high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycling facility in the U.S., Envision Plastics. HDPE is the other commonly used plastic bottle resin, which can be found in detergent bottles and milk jugs.

The state will be inspecting landfills starting in October, but it’s unlikely that individuals will be fined for trashing plastic bottles unless they are caught unloading a large amount.

“It’s not going to be a Big Brother law, but the best way to be in compliance with the law is to recycle plastic bottles,” says Scott Mouw, environmental supervisor for the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. “Everyone wants to do the right thing, and the right thing is to recycle.”

North Carolina already has a substantial list of items banned from landfills, which ranges from aluminum cans to white goods. Also being added to the banned products list in October is motor oil filters.

While PET and HDPE represent the largest population of plastic bottles, a growing alternative are bioplastics. These are made of renewable materials that biodegrade in a commercial compost system.

Please find the Original Earth911 Article here.