News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Sunday July 12th 2020

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action density election 2011 affordable housing boulder county open space election renewables agriculture CU local food climate change election 2013 development youth jefferson parkway pedestrian election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats election 2017 recreation BVSD mountain bikes immigration boards and commissions plan boulder farming fracking GMOs transit urban design decarbonization planning board fires colorado politics wildlife land use smart regs downtown architecture new era colorado transit village parking homeless journalism plutonium natural gas ghgs commuting radioactive waste rental coal height limits taxes april fools 2015 walkability historic preservation energy efficiency historic district Neighborhoods diversity zoning population growth growth students North Boulder flood arts gardens education University Hill water supply bus election 2010 solar election 2018 nutrition RTD sprawl water quality election 2012 groundwater bike lane electric utility safety library april fools 2016 renewable energy affairs of the heart organic flood plain wetlands planning reserve zero waste mayor blue line electric vehicle ballot right-sizing street design transportation master plan obama hazardous waste county commissioners politics hogan-pancost longmont colorado legislature climate smart loan diagonal plaza campaign finance flood mitigation bears Mapleton solar panels PV recycling comprehensive plan golden conservation easement epa boulder junction pesticide congestion food drought road diet oil bus rapid transit commercial development inequality election 2016 flooding planning daily camera public health community cycles BVCP ecocycle Newlands automobile PUC climate change deniers children david miller ken wilson sam weaver community league of women voters wind power public spaces boulder creek crime mlk civil rights west tsa marijuana technology arizona Orchard Grove EV green points al bartlett Whittier city attorney

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...

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.