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8 posts from November 2006

November 12, 2006

The trash vortex


The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them a problem in marine environments. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

Link: The trash vortex.

Zanzibar islands ban plastic bags

BBC News

Zanzibar's ban on the import and production of plastic bags has come into effect.

Authorities on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian islands say discarded bags damage the marine environment and hurt its crucial tourism industry. But the BBC's Ally Saleh in Zanzibar says many people are sceptical about whether the ban will be enforced.

Link: Zanzibar islands ban plastic bags.

November 09, 2006

Jobs not at risk in bags ban


The Keep Wales Tidy group has hit back at claims that banning plastic bags from Welsh supermarkets would have undesirable consequences. Recently the Carrier Bag Consortium, representing bag manufacturers, criticised Environment Minister Carwyn Jones for suggesting such a ban.

Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Tegryn Jones responded, "In the Republic of Ireland, where there is now a tax on plastic bags, there is no evidence there were job losses. The few jobs depending on the plastic bag industry in Wales that could conceivably be lost would be more than compensated for by other employment opportunities.

November 08, 2006

Tofino Embraces Hybrids, Trashes Plastic Bags


Tofino’s committee of the whole backed recommendations that may soon require the district to purchase recycled office-supply products and hybrid vehicles. Committee members will also write local businesses, asking how the community can cut down on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags.

Coun. Derek Shaw, the author of the resolutions, said the purpose of the policies is to ensure the District of Tofino promotes ecologically and socially sustainable products. He said council should consider joining a socially sustainable purchasing network.

Link: Tofino Embraces Hybrids, Trashes Plastic Bags.

November 07, 2006

Ministry bans thin plastic bags

BOPA Daily News Archive

A ban on the use of plastic bags will effect on February 1, forcing shoppers to either provide their own bags or pay for the new-style thicker recyclable bags.

Wildlife, environment and tourism minister Mr Kitso Mokaila said in an interview that the new law aims to protect the environment.

Plastic waste is the most visible and a major concern because it has environmental implications and there is need for us to manage the problem, he said.

Link: Ministry bans thin plastic bags.

November 06, 2006

Supermarkets dole out fewer plastic bags


Supermarkets have handed out 80 million fewer plastic bags since the launch of the voluntary pact on plastic-bag reduction, Secretary for the Environment, Transport & Works Dr Sarah Liao says. The three major supermarket chains have achieved 24-29% cuts, far above their 15% target.

To reduce the indiscriminate use of plastic shopping bags, Dr Liao said a study report on a plastic shopping bag levy - including its feasibility, options, level of charge and scope, the environmental benefits of various options and their impact on the trades - will be completed by the end of this year.

Link: Supermarkets dole out fewer plastic bags.

In Ireland, a tax has cleaned up


A tax has cleared the Republic of Ireland's streets and countryside of discarded plastic bags.

In spring 2002 plastic-bag litter was effectively killed off by a levy of 15 euro cents for every bag handed out. In five months, the use of plastic bags was slashed by more than 90 per cent.

The Irish environment ministry estimates that the "plastax" brings in 10 million pounds a year, which is being spent on environmental projects...

Link: In Ireland, a tax has cleaned up.

November 03, 2006

Scotland bins bag tax plans

Environmental Data Interactive Exchange

Plans to follow in the footsteps of Ireland by introducing a tax on plastic bags have been put on the backburner in Scotland after the MSP who proposed them withdrew his Bill.

Mike Pringle, Lib Dem MSP for Edinburgh South, had put forward a Plastic Bag Levy Bill which would see supermarkets and other retailers providing plastic bags charging a small fee for every carrier customers required, in an effort to encourage consumers to use their own bags.

The Bill had found considerable support among other MSPs, though manufacturers of the bags had, unsurprisingly, opposed the moves, saying it would harm the Scottish economy and cost jobs.

But now, despite the fact the Scottish Executive has not passed the Bill, Mr Pringle says he has accomplished what he set out to do and it is now down to the executive to take what steps it feels are required to tackle plastic waste north of the border. According to Mr. Pringle, "withdrawing this Bill now puts the ball firmly in the Scottish Executive's court. I want to see concrete proposals that integrate my Bill into an overall waste minimisation strategy.

Ross Finnie, Scottish Environment Minister, claimed a voluntary code asking retailers to sign up for reductions could be just as effective as legislation. "I would strongly urge retailers to sign up to the voluntary code and I'd expect to see progress shortly. If agreement cannot be reached, then legislation may have to be considered."

Link: Scotland bins bag tax plans.