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The Preachy Blog

Banning the bagging

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8/1/2008 -- Banning the bagging

This is about all the plastic and paper bags we use when going shopping for groceries ... soo convenient getting all your groceries packed in a bag (or several bags). And it is for free!

Yesterday I heard on the news that Seattle will have a 20 cents green fee on disposable paper or plastic bags at grocery, drug and convenience stores, starting January 1, 2009. Polystyrene or Styrofoam containers like take-out boxes at restaurants will also be banned from businesses that serve food, starting 2009. And a ban on plastic containers and foam trays for meat and seafood is planned for July 2010 (There are actually more than 20 U.S. cities already that have banned polystyrene food packaging (e.g. Portland, San Francisco - see factsheet from ).

According to the homepage of the city of Seattle people in Seattle use 360 million throwaway paper and plastic shopping bags every year which equals 8,500 tons of greenhouse gases. Almost 240 million bags end up in the garbage.
Seattle's mayor Greg Nickels says: "If every household in Seattle uses reusable bags and climate friendly containers, we can cut greenhouse gas generation. With the bag fee alone, we can cut more than 4,000 tons per year. That's the same as taking 665 cars off the road. This is one more step we can all take to fight global warming in our everyday lives."

So does this change anything for somebody like us, living over 2000 miles away from Seattle and the green fee? We won't completely quit on plastic bags, but at least will use reusable bags or a shopping basked for future grocery store trips more often.

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