9 posts categorized "Legislation"

November 19, 2010

PLASTIC STATE OF MIND - Parody with Purpose

While we don't support bag bans (click here to read why) we loved this video & catchy tune about a very simple step you can take reduce a ton of waste: Bring your own bags.

 

July 28, 2009

"The petrochemical industry's profits are our litter."

Treebag2 This just in from the Seattle Green Bag Campaign's Twitter account: Two prominent Seattle environmentalists say vote yes on Referendum 1!

In a Seattle Times editorial piece, Kathy Fletcher and Denis Hayes wrote in favor of a proposed 20-cent fee on disposable bags. According to the story, each year Seattle residents throw away a whopping 600 bags per person.

Is this the most significant environmental threat facing our world? No, they write, which is why it should have been solved 39 years ago - and why voting yes on Ref. 1 is such an easy decision to make.

Read the whole story here.

June 17, 2009

Why We Don't Support Bag Bans

Bag_salutes_usflag One of the most common questions we face in customer service is "what do I do about a trash can liner now that I've rid myself of plastic bags?"

It's a great question - why go through the life-altering experience of saying no to plastic bags just to buy box after box of more plastic bags? It just doesn't make sense. But this simple question hits on something much larger than just garbage bags, something that's absolutely core to our mission at ReusableBags.com.

We are not, and have never been anti-plastic bags. Instead, we focus on promoting sensible solutions for over-consumption of plastic bags. The bottom line is, we take more plastic bags than we need. It only makes sense to stop blindly taking these non-biodegradable, petroleum-wasting bags every time you go to the store. Instead, bring reusable bags and only take home the few plastic bags you'll actually reuse. We're so passionate about it we even offer several solutions for reusing plastic bags! (And to answer your question - we strongly encourage people to reuse their plastic bags for small garbage can liners, pet waste and other dirty jobs!)

So what do we have against bag bans? Well, lots of things.

For one, bans aren't a practical solution for the consumer. There's a time and a place for plastic bags and banning them outright isn't fair to anyone.

Also, bans are an emotional response to the problem, but they miss the point. The point is being mindful of our consumption and changing the way we think, act and make purchases.

We actually have a whole list of reasons why bans don't make sense, you can see them all here. But you get the point. Rather than bans, we support fees - like the one Seattle is fighting for right now. Ireland's PlasTax is a great example - consumers there are charged for paper and plastic bags at check out. Since the tax, Ireland has seen a 90% decrease in use-and-toss bag use.

The funds collected can be used to raise awareness, subsidize reusable shopping bags, to develop compostable "plastic" bags, and to generally clean up the environment. (A nation-wide $.20 bag fee in the US would generate $2 billion each year!)

And that, you see, is why we can't support bag bans but will always support bag fees. Now - what are we going to do about all these paper coffee cups?

June 02, 2009

S.T.A.N.D. - Students Take Action in Nature's Defense

We received an email this morning from Christina Denny, an 8th grader from Runnemede, NJ who -along with her fellow students at Mary E. Volz School - formed S.T.A.N.D. Students Take Action in Nature's Defense. Christina let us know that there is a bill pending before New Jersey State Assembly that aims to "gradually fade out the number of plastic bags given out by stores."

Mary E. Volz School asked it's fourth and fifth graders to bring in their family's plastic bags to be made into various projects, including this picture which Christina created.



Good luck to everyone involved, especially the kids behind S.T.A.N.D.!

May 27, 2009

Seattle Bag Fee Vote - We Need Your Help!

Two weeks ago, our founder got a call from Seattle mayor, Greg Nickels, asking for our help in supporting the Seattle bag fee. Originally set to take effect Jan 1st of this year, the bag fee was stalled by the plastic bag industry – who’s spent more than $250,000 to preserve their interest in the mindless consumption of throwaway bags. They’ve been successful in stalling or diverting every major initiative proposed in recent years, from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The Seattle bag fee gets voted on August 18 and we’re doing everything we can to support it.
In the six years this company has been around, the Seattle bag fee is the most important piece of legislation we’ve seen. Seattle’s proposed fee is a pure model – taxing plastic and paper bags with a significant 20-cent fee. Based on Ireland’s hugely successful PlasTax (the reason our founder started this company!), the initiative will set a trailblazing precedent for cities across the U.S. if it’s re-instated.

Want to get involved? Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate to the Seattle Green Bag Campaign
  • Purchase from our store – We’ve committed to donating 1% of sales to the campaign between now and the Aug 18th vote.
  • Spread the word: If you’re a reporter or blogger, cover the story. Forward this story on to friends.  Don’t let these guys win!
And be sure to check out this great video from the Green bag Campaign!

May 05, 2009

OUR SCOOP: Seattle Bag Fee Vote Set for Aug 18 - We Need Your Help!

ReusableBags.com 5.28.09 GrBagBanner     

Two weeks ago, our founder got a call from Seattle mayor, Greg Nickels, asking for our help in supporting the Seattle bag fee. It's based on Ireland's successful PlasTax, which reduced plastic bag consumption by over 90% - the plastic bag industry is doing everything it can to defeat this measure.

Originally set to take effect Jan 1st of this year, the bag fee was stalled by the plastic bag industry – who’s spent more than $250,000 to preserve their interest in the mindless consumption of throwaway bags. They’ve been successful in stalling or diverting every major initiative proposed in recent years, from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The Seattle bag fee gets voted on August 18 and we’re doing everything we can to support it.
In the six years this company has been around, the Seattle bag fee is the most important piece of legislation we’ve seen. Seattle’s proposed fee is a pure model – taxing plastic and paper bags with a significant 20-cent fee. The initiative will set a trailblazing precedent for cities across the U.S. if it’s re-instated.

We realize you may not live in Seattle, but please consider making a contribution. After all, the opponent's money is coming from outside Seattle. Let's show them that it's not just big industry that's interested in this race, but environmentalists across the nation as well.

Want to get involved? Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate to the Seattle Green Bag Campaign
  • Purchase from our store – We’ve committed to donating 1% of sales to the campaign between now and the Aug 18th vote.
  • Spread the word: If you’re a reporter or blogger, cover the story. Forward this story on to friends.  Don’t let these guys win!

Our Take: We’ll do everything in our power to defeat plastic bag industry interests and push through this landmark bag fee. If successful, Seattle may prove to be the tipping point for cities across the nation – and the world.

Listen to the voicemail from the Seattle mayor here & watch a great video they produced about the history of the plastic bag:

January 01, 2009

Biggest Stories of 2008: Bag Fees, BPA and More

BabyBottleAP ReusableBags.com  1.28.09

2008 was a tipping point for several important consumption issues that we cover.

It marked the beginning of the end for BPA, Seattle voted to tax the plastic bag, and stores everywhere were flooded with an onslaught of cheap reusable shopping bags.

Here's our round-up of the must-read stories of the year:

  • Let the BPA controversy begin... - A segment on The Today Show in April marks the beginning of the BPA media maelstrom (we've been drawing attention to the issue for years). Watch here...
  • First major U.S. city approves a plastic bag fee - In July, Seattle follows in the footsteps of Ireland's PlasTax to become the first U.S. city to approve a bag fee. Unfortunately, the plastics industry later brings the initiative to a grinding halt. Read more...
  • An inconvenient bag?!? - Reusable bags flood the market in 2008. Then, in September, The Wall Street Journal publishes a backlash piece bashing the viability of the bags. Read more...
  • Retailers push cheap reusable bags - In an attempt to be green, it sure smacks of a cheap marketing ploy. Read more...
  • The FDA backpedals on BPA - In December, a second look at the safety data on BPA is called for. We hope it isn't too little, too late. Read more...

April 01, 2008

Taking Aim at All Those Plastic Bags

The New York Times 04.01.08Nytlogo379x64_2

By a 10-1 Board of Supervisors’ vote, San Francisco became the first major American city to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags by supermarkets, drug stores and other large retailers. Yet another alternative is to sell consumers reusable bags...

“The paper versus plastics question takes us off the issue, which is consumption,” says Vincent Cobb, who offers reusable bags and containers on the Internet. “Getting into the habit of bringing your own shopping bag,” he says, “can slash this problem across the board.”

Link: Taking Aim at All Those Plastic Bags.

February 02, 2008

Motivated by a Tax, Irish Spurn Plastic Bags

New York Times 02.02.08 & International Herald Tribune 01.31.08Iht_2

In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags...Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Drowning in a sea of plastic bags, countries from China to Australia, cities from San Francisco to New York have in the past year adopted a flurry of laws and regulations to address the problem, so far with mixed success.

After five years of the plastic bag tax, Ireland has changed the image of cloth bags, a feat advocates hope to achieve in the United States. Vincent Cobb, the president of reusablebags.com, who founded the company four years ago to promote the issue, said: “Using cloth bags has been seen as an extreme act of a crazed environmentalist. We want it to be seen as something a smart, progressive person would carry.”

Comment: Ireland has paved the way. What other countries, cities or states will step up, find the political will and follow suit?

Links: New York Times & International Herald Tribune