Should St. Pete ban single-use plastic bags?

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single-use plastic bags
Plastic bag. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (July 2017).

On MidPoint Monday we talked about a move by some residents of St. Petersburg, Florida to ban single-use plastic bags; Davey Connor, chair of the Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition, spoke about a St. Petersburg City Council meeting on Thursday (27 July) where a committee will discuss an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags. They’re calling the effort #BanTheBag. Only one other city in Florida (Coral Gables) has banned plastic bags.

Listen to the show here:

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Here’s information from the executive summary of a study posted on the plastic industry’s website, Plastic Packaging Facts. It compares three single use bag types, but not renewable bags.

“…any decision to ban traditional polyethylene plastic grocery bags in favor of bags made from alternative materials (compostable plastic or recycled paper) will result in a significant increase in environmental impacts across a number of categories from global warming effects to the use of precious potable water resources. As a result, consumers and legislators should reevaluate banning traditional plastic grocery bags, as the unintended consequences can be significant and long-lasting” … for the same carrying capacity, “When compared to 30% recycled fiber paper bags, polyethylene grocery bags use energy in terms of fuels for manufacturing, less oil, and less potable water. In addition, polyethylene plastic grocery bags emit fewer global warming gases, less acid rain emissions, and less solid wastes.”

Plastic bags are messing up local recycling efforts. So much so that several local governments have joined together for a pr campaign to beg people not to put any plastic bags in their recycling bins.

Here’s the Facebook event page for the show. You can see the results of the poll there as well.

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