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FIGHTING PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS COMES TO YELM

– “Fighting the plastic grocery bag scourge”
“URban tumbleweeds: Few are reused or remade”

“Terri Thomas mission this summer is to educate Thurston County about plastic bags.

An estimated 90 million plastic shopping bags are used in the county each year, Thomas said, most of which are not recycled.

About 4.5 percent of those 90 million bags are recycled and another 9 percent are reused, a number Thomas said is dismally low.

They are urban tumbleweeds, said Thomas, an education and outreach specialist with the county solid waste department. They just catch wind and go everywhere its one of the most common things you will find in litter.

Thomas has spoken with city councils in Bucoda, Yelm, Rainier, Tumwater and Lacey about the statistics. She plans to speak to Olympia and Tenino by early July.

So far, she said most jurisdictions are showing interest in discussing the topic, she said,” quoting Chelsea Krotzer in The Olympian.

Editor’s Note:
Terri Thomas gave an excellent presentation to the Yelm City Council earlier this year on the plastic grocery bag issue.
Will this city take the lead and act on this?
Or, as usual, will Yelm just jump on the bandwagon following Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater & Thurston County?

– “LA vote could spell end for bag of a thousand uses”
“Although it seems as if the single-use grocery bag, as it’s formally known, has been around forever, it wasn’t until 1977 that it was introduced to U.S. supermarkets, a move that prompted perhaps the most asked question of the following decade: “Paper or plastic?”

As the years went by and plastic won, people began to find myriad other makeshift uses for the little bags with the briefcase-like handles.”

Now, with the city of Los Angeles taking the first step toward joining nearly four dozen other California municipalities in outlawing them, the humble little polyethylene bag may be headed for the trash heap of history.

San Francisco already bans the bag. So do San Jose, Long Beach, Berkeley and Malibu.

But LA, with nearly 4 million residents, goes through an estimated 2.7 billion plastic grocery bags a year, according to city officials, and environmentalists believe a ban here will have a huge impact and could even influence the rest of the country to follow suit,” quoting John Rogers for the AP.

– “Its time to move forward on the next generation of plastics recycling”
“Washington state has now mandated product stewardship of electronics (hard drives, monitors and televisions). Manufacturers fund collection systems that are free to the public so their components can be recycled safely and reused. Organizations such as the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, Product Stewardship Institute and people in our local agencies, such as Thurston County Water and Waste Management, are now trying to work with the Legislature on laws requiring stewardship of other materials, such as drugs, and especially the plastics that are such a problem.

Concerned citizens ought to learn more about these efforts and urge their legislators to do the right thing to keep our environment clean and safe,” quoting Burt Guttman in The Olympian.

Burt Guttman, a professor of biology emeritus at The Evergreen State College, is a member of The Olympians Board of Contributors.

Posted by Steve on June 10, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

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