News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Wednesday October 1st 2014

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

energy city council transportation xcel municipalization election 2011 climate action housing april fools density boulder county bicycles open space urban planning renewables agriculture CU election 2013 jefferson parkway local food youth Rocky Flats affordable housing climate change BVSD preservation mountain bikes GMOs farming development immigration decarbonization recreation fracking fires colorado politics new era colorado smart regs transit journalism plutonium wildlife plan boulder boards and commissions natural gas radioactive waste transit village pedestrian rental commuting downtown planning board energy efficiency homeless education parking height limits gardens coal election 2010 water supply arts ghgs water quality students election 2012 North Boulder architecture population growth taxes organic groundwater library solar RTD land use historic district University Hill planning reserve diagonal plaza Mapleton solar panels Neighborhoods climate smart loan election diversity zero waste nutrition hazardous waste obama flood colorado legislature electric utility politics bus sprawl golden pesticide food sam weaver league of women voters epa bus rapid transit hogan-pancost bike lane ken wilson county commissioners conservation easement drought longmont daily camera PV Newlands recycling comprehensive plan mayor david miller ecocycle PUC wetlands wind power climate change deniers affairs of the heart campaign finance jane jacobs mining monsanto community cycles climate electric vehicle sustainability oil measure 310 community walmart gun safety germany gun control bsec west tsa Whittier bears arizona Orchard Grove lisa morzel zoning green points kevin hotaling suzanne jones contamination tim plass john tayer bob bellemare boulder copenhagen bike share silly walks Washington ken regelson snow removal blue line crime matt appelbaum van jones EV blue friday BVCP technology districting al bartlett mobile home parks public spaces marijuana historic boulder city budget

41 Million Plastic Bags


By

41 million. That’s the number of plastic bags thrown out in the City of Boulder in just one year. Those are the findings from a report by EcoCycle. Nationwide, shoppers use 102 billion plastic shopping bags every year. Last year in Boulder County, residents discarded 781 tons of disposable plastic bags. Each individual bag on average weighs a mere 0.0013 pounds, so when you do the math, the number of bags in the waste stream for the county is around 120 million.

Thanks to the advocacy of a bunch of great, environmentally tuned-in young people, Boulder has a chance to do something about the plastic bag epidemic. Anyone who’s watched the City Council meetings on Channel 8 has seen the students from Fairview High School’s Net Zero Club and Summit Middle School asking the nine council members to tackle this problem. The students want to see the city take action. So do I.

It’s not like we’d be the first community to regulate disposable plastic bags. San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Palo Alto, and Los Angeles County have all passed legislation aimed at reducing or banning these hard-to-recycle products. In Washington, D.C., after a five cent fee on plastic bags was imposed, their use declined by a whopping eighty-two percent.

EcoCycle estimates that if we were to put a ten cent fee on plastic bags, use would drop by sixty three percent; if we were to put a twenty cent fee in place, use would drop by eighty-three percent.

We have an opportunity to do something in Boulder to reduce the use of these bags which have a wide range of damaging effects, from plastic-choked gyres in the ocean to clogged storm drains to litter. It’s the right thing to do for the environment. As we move forward with tackling the plastic bag epidemic, we need to work with the local merchants who would be affected, their customers, and the students who have advocated so passionately for change We should also carefully study the programs that other communities have put in place and how successful they have been. Finally, we should always remember that there is no such thing as a free plastic bag. We are all paying for them in the cost of the products we buy.

So, c’mon council, let’s give the green light to move forward and take advantage of this opportunity!

 

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.