Tag Archive for ‘Plastic Bags’
California made big news recently when it announced the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags set to kick in during the middle of 2015. Of course, Americans are late to the party when it comes to banning plastic bags: The European Union, China, India and dozens of other nations already have plastic bag bans or taxes in place.
If Oregon succeeds in passing the nation’s first statewide ban on plastic bags, it will be over the strenuous objections of the plastics industry, led by South Carolina-based bag manufacturer Hilex Poly. Opponents in the plastic industry have waged an all-out campaign to deny that plastic bags pose a threat to the environment, even raising fears about the safety of reusable bags.
Researchers fear that such ubiquitous bags may never fully decompose; instead they gradually just turn into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic.
Plastic bags, first introduced in the 1950s as a convenient way to store food, have since developed into a global scourge, littering roadsides, clogging sewer drains and landfills and getting ingested by animals and marine life. They are so prolific that they now comprise a significant portion of the plastic and other garbage that has collected in huge ocean gyres far from land.