A contempo op-ed, “Community Compass: Artificial bag ban would accomplish a aberration in Waterville” (Sept. 12), encourages Waterville voters to accept on Nov. 6 a ailing conceived brake on the use of artificial bags.
This authorization would ban artificial arcade accoutrements at businesses that are 10,000 aboveboard anxiety or larger. The op-ed afield states that these ample food are the capital antecedent of blowzy artificial bags; the actuality is that blowzy artificial accoutrements predominantly appear from abate establishments such as accessibility stores, a actuality that is accurate by abstracts from a 2013 multi-city bag clutter survey. That is why a cardinal of blowzy artificial accoutrements accept all-encompassing labels such as “Thank You” on them.
In 2010, our close conducted a statewide clutter analysis in Maine. The results, agnate to around every added statistically based clutter analysis conducted throughout the United States, begin that artificial arcade accoutrements accomplish up a actual baby allocation of litter. Artificial blur and accoutrements of all types accounted for aloof 2.4 percent of clutter in Maine. Artificial arcade accoutrements are aloof a atom of this category, which additionally includes items like compress wrap, debris accoutrements and blade bags.
In contrast, items such as bonbon and bite wrappers are far added prevalent, accounting for 13.5 percent of clutter statewide in Maine.
The op-ed added misleads association into assertive that this authorization will abate the bulk of artificial that ends up in landfills. What happens back attenuate artificial arcade accoutrements are banned? Typically, they are replaced by accoutrements fabricated from abundant cardboard or thicker artificial to accommodated the restrictions of these new ordinances. A abstraction commissioned by the burghal of Austin begin that their 2013 artificial bag ban led to association and businesses purchasing thicker accoutrements for debris disposal. So their bag ban absolutely acquired the bulk of artificial decay authoritative its way into landfills to increase.
Moreover, a abstraction by APCO Insight begin that consumers reclaim added than 92 percent of their artificial arcade accoutrements and about two-thirds — 65 percent — reclaim them as debris bags. This offsets the use of thicker artificial debris bags.
A abstraction from the government of Quebec begin that artificial grocery accoutrements accept the atomic ecology appulse amid bagging options. The accomplish of cardboard bags, a accepted another to plastics in grocery stores, after-effects in alert the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions compared to artificial bags.
For shoppers bringing accoutrements from home, reusable arcade accoutrements or affection tote accoutrements charge be acclimated up to 60 or alike up to 3,000 times, respectively, to accept a lower ecology appulse than artificial arcade bags, which can additionally be reused or alone off for recycling at a cardinal of grocery food and added retailers.
While this authorization may advance association to accept that they are demography a big footfall to abate decay and pollution, that ambition will be best accomplished by continuing to animate the reclaim and recycling of all types of arcade bags.
Steven Stein is arch of Ecology Resources Planning in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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