News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Wednesday May 27th 2015

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council energy transportation xcel municipalization april fools election 2011 climate action housing urban planning density boulder county bicycles open space agriculture renewables election 2013 CU local food jefferson parkway youth affordable housing preservation Rocky Flats climate change BVSD development immigration mountain bikes GMOs decarbonization farming recreation fracking colorado politics fires transit downtown smart regs new era colorado boards and commissions plutonium journalism wildlife plan boulder transit village natural gas radioactive waste commuting pedestrian architecture rental height limits april fools 2015 planning board education homeless energy efficiency parking gardens coal students urban design water supply election 2010 Neighborhoods taxes arts historic district election 2012 water quality ghgs North Boulder University Hill population growth organic solar groundwater bus planning reserve library land use diversity RTD climate smart loan election zero waste solar panels politics hazardous waste obama bike lane Mapleton flood electric utility colorado legislature nutrition longmont diagonal plaza sprawl golden affairs of the heart food pesticide community cycles league of women voters epa drought hogan-pancost ken wilson bus rapid transit county commissioners conservation easement sam weaver Newlands PV ecocycle comprehensive plan mayor david miller recycling wind power daily camera climate change deniers PUC wetlands campaign finance boulder junction monsanto jane jacobs electric vehicle mining community lisa morzel walmart climate measure 310 suzanne jones sustainability gun safety oil germany gun control bears mlk children west tsa Whittier arizona tim plass green points Orchard Grove zoning boulder kevin hotaling crime john tayer bob bellemare contamination boulder creek bsec public spaces blue friday silly walks blue line marijuana Washington EV historic boulder technology districting BVCP al bartlett city budget mobile home parks

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.