Paper or Plastic?
That iconic question asked of consumers at the checkout counter is a thing of the past in some local markets, with more to come. A growing number of municipalities are adopting versions of California Plastic Bag Laws with the goal of keeping plastic out of Southern California landfills.
While the specifics of each environmental ordinance may vary, the goals are the same. Many view the plastic bag as an environmental hazard and want to see it totally banned. However, even many businesses committed to strong sustainability programs express some concerns about the mechanics and impact of the ordinances.
In fact, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is aggressively lobbying to present the other side of this issue. In the simplest version of this argument, the Institute points out that more than $930 million of plastic scrap is exported each year, and another 4.5 billion pounds of consumer-related plastic is recycled. ISRI contends a large amount of the hated plastic bags end up in those numbers.
This issue is an important one to the environmental movement. Recyclers constantly fight to remain profitable and any loss of easily-recycled materials is seen as a problem. This is of special concern if the movement to ban plastic bags goes nationwide.
California Plastic Bag Laws are Setting a Trend
As in many areas of law and environmental issues, what starts in California often spreads across the country. As more communities impose bans, fees or both on plastic bags, many groups are looking for alternative ways to deal with the issue. To date, these include:
- Increasing the efforts to conveniently recycle plastic bags
- Relying more on education than imposing bans
- Encouraging consumers to increase eco-sensitive use of reusable bags
Our team at Sergeant Shredder is committed to the concept of sustainability. We invest a lot of time and effort into local solutions that provide responsible and practical solution to all forms of waste. Regardless of your position on the issue of California Plastic Bag Laws, we can help you improve your company’s approach to sustainable procurement and disposal policies and practices. We recycle 100% of what we shred, doing our part in keeping Southern California’s landfills free of unnecessary waste.
What do you think of the California Plastic Bag Laws? Is a boon or boondoggle?