Yes, leftover bags continue to plague us each and every day.
Yes, leftoverbags.com is still here to try our darndest to stop people from leaving bags leftover and start people pickin’-um-up.
Yes, leftover bags continue to plague us each and every day.
So Madison is taking some action…..they are now going to fine you if you leave a bag leftover….sounds good to me! fine those jerks!!!
here’s the article from the Wisconsin State Journal
SAT., MAY 2, 2009 – 12:21 PM
Proposed ban would prohibit throwing out clean plastic bags in Madison
By DEAN MOSIMAN
In Madison, it soon may be OK to be holding the bag — but not OK to throw it out.
Ald. Judy Compton, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and others on Tuesday will propose banning the disposal of clean, recyclable plastic bags that litter roads and lakes.
It still would be OK to use plastic bags from grocery or retail stores, or bags that hold products such as bread, newspapers, dry cleaning, toilet paper or paper towels.
Soiled bags still could be thrown out. But throwing out clean bags would carry a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $400 for third and later offenses in a year.
The city is likely to set up drop-off sites that would cost about $24,000 annually to operate and need an initial capital investment of $20,000 to $250,000, depending on the number of sites and type of containers.
“It’s a matter of putting our money where our mouth is on environmental issues,” Compton said. “It’s really a simple thing.”
The city would rely on cooperation rather than enforcement, recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said.
“We don’t send out people looking in Dumpsters,” he said.
Based on national averages, city residents use an estimated 74.8 million plastic bags annually but recycle less than 1 percent of them, Dreckmann said.
“They’re a big problem at the landfill and other places as well,” Dreckmann said.
Some cities, such as San Francisco, ban plastic bags, and others have laws making retailers take them back, but Madison is considering a unique approach in banning their disposal, Dreckmann said.
“It’s much less politically divisive,” he said.
Compton said she prefers a full ban but compromised because a ban could raise grocery prices and negatively impact people who ride the bus with groceries and shop in bad weather.
Compton and Dreckmann said the best approach is using reusable bags.
Vivian King, director of public affairs for Roundy’s Supermakets, which has five stores in Madison, declined comment on the proposal because she hasn’t seen details.
But Roundy’s supports recycling bags, she said.
“We encourage customers to bring back plastic bags,” she said. “We offer reusable bags. We reward customers who use reusable bags.”
Some other grocery stores accept plastic bags for recycling, Dreckmann said.
The sponsors considered other ways to help residents recycle, including a curbside pickup program, but alternatives may not be practical, Compton said.
The proposal, which will be referred to committee, “is a step in the right direction,” she said.
from washington post
In D.C., Bags Might Soon Contain a Fee
Council Considers 5-Cent Charge on Paper and Plastic to Aid Anacostia River
PHOTOS Previous Next
Council member Tommy Wells said time on the Anacostia moved him to act. (By Bill O’leary — The Washington Post)
Plastic bags and other trash can be seen along the Anacostia River. (Courtesy Of Anacostia Watershed Society)
Do you support D.C. legislation that would levy a 5-cent fee on plastic and paper bags?
Created on Feb 12, 2009
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By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 12, 2009; Page A01
Paper or plastic?
It might end up being neither in the District. That is, unless consumers fork over 5 cents per bag when buying groceries from a supermarket, picking up cold medicine from a drugstore or grabbing a hot dog and soda from a street vendor.
A majority of the D.C. Council supports legislation that could tax not only plastic bags, but paper ones, too, and make the District home to one of the country’s toughest such laws.
For a while now, environmentally conscious lawmakers have taken shots at bags with relative levels of success. San Francisco is the only large city in the country that has banned plastic bags. The Seattle City Council tried to impose a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper, but the proposal must go before voters in August. In New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) has inserted a similar 5-cent fee on plastic bags in his budget proposal in hopes of generating millions in revenue and eventually dissuading their use.
Under the bill, the 5-cent fee would be split between businesses and the city, which would use its share to help clean the Anacostia River and offer free reusable bags to elderly and low-income residents.
The District’s proposal could have some consumers trying to balance their environmental instincts against their pocketbooks.
Shayne Cortel, 25, a customer service representative who lives in Northwest Washington, said she thought she was already helping the environment by reusing her plastic bags for bathroom trash. Plus, she said, the 5-cent fee is steep.
“Nowadays, that’s a lot of money,” she said, calculating the dozens of grocery bags she uses twice a month. Her medium-size white plastic bag from CVS was filled with snacks as she walked to a bus stop on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The bill’s author, D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) — known as a carless, canoeing, bicycle-riding, pedestrian-friendly legislator — wants to help clean up the badly polluted Anacostia River, and curbing the use of bags is a place to start. The law would apply to liquor stores, grocers, food vendors, convenience stores, drugstores and other businesses.
A recent study by the Anacostia Watershed Society found that plastic bags were “the single largest component of trash” in the eight-mile river and its tributaries.
Maryland Del. Alfred C. Carr Jr. (D-Montgomery) has been working with Wells over the past month and is introducing similar legislation, although a similar bill recently failed to get out of a subcommittee in Virginia’s General Assembly.
Wells’s bill treats paper no better than plastic. The idea, he said, is to get buy-in from retailers, who say a reliance on costlier paper bags would hurt them. Paper bags The D.C. bill might already be, well, in the bag when it is officially introduced Tuesday. Several D.C. lawmakers and environmentalists will join Wells and Carr at a news conference today at the Anacostia Park boat ramp.
Carr, who represents parts of Chevy Chase and Silver Spring, said he’s not sure how much support he will get in Maryland. “It’s a way to get consumers in the habit of doing their shopping in a more Earth-friendly way,” Carr said, adding that it could benefit the state’s coastline and the Chesapeake Bay.
The D.C. bill would have to be signed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), though the support of nine council members would dissuade a veto. Like all District laws, it would then have to gain approval from Congress.
D.C.’s bill will probably get aggressive resistance from the plastics industry, which has stopped or stalled legislation in other jurisdictions. Wells’s legislation could derail recycling programs at stores that encourage shoppers to return their bags, said Shari Jackson, director of the Progressive Bag Affiliates at the Arlington County-based American Chemistry Council, a trade group.
“At the time that we’re in a recession, charging consumers an extra 5 cents, 10 cents . . . is more tax on their food bill when they can least afford it,” Jackson said.
The paper industry is taking the same stance against consumer costs. In addition, Scott Milburn, spokesman for the D.C.-based American Forest & Paper Association, said, “Paper is the most recycled material on the planet, with more than half of all paper recycled every year, and paper bags are already preferred by environmentally conscious shoppers, so our concern is that this is unlikely to further increase recycling.”
Tom Zaucha, president and chief executive of the Arlington-based National Grocers Association, said grocers have begun offering reusable bags. “It’s a question that the marketplace will resolve, frankly,” he said.
Critics also say there’s a financial burden on the poor who would be charged for bags that would normally be free. Wells dismissed the argument, pointing to the plan to distribute free bags to low-income residents. He also said discount supermarkets have found success in changing the habits of shoppers by charging for plastic bags. “Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you don’t care about the environment,” said Wells, 51, who was inspired to take action when he saw trash on the river. He canoes there and has a sailboat, dubbed Hey, Buster. (“That was on the boat when I bought it” — used, of course.)
Dennis Chestnut, executive director of Groundwork Anacostia River D.C., said the focus should be on the benefits of cleaning up the river. “The cost of not doing it is far greater,” Chestnut said. “If we’re ever going to turn the river into the resource it can be for the community, we need . . . this.”
Are many people throwing plastic bags into the Anacostia?
The bags, which environmentalists say can harm wildlife, often take an indirect trip, said Charles Allen, Wells’s chief of staff. It starts with someone dropping a bag on the street, for example. A strong rain pushes a bag into a storm drain, which washes it into the river, he said. The trash could end up costing the city thousands of dollars in fines that are being established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Food wrappers, Styrofoam products, bottles and cans all follow the same trail and were found in the waterway when two volunteers spent 307 hours monitoring the garbage in the river for the city’s Department of the Environment, according to the Watershed Society’s trash reduction plan. The plan recommended “political action” to rid the river of the plastic bags, adding that a fee should “effectively remove 47 percent of the trash from tributaries and 21 percent from the main stem of the river.”
The fee would not apply to the clear plastic bags used to wrap fruit and produce, or to the small, sleeved paper bags used for pastries. The bill would ban outright such non-recyclable bags as the thin black plastic bags used at convenience stores.
Carry a plastic bag in Delhi and you could be imprisoned for five years. Officials in India‘s capital have decided that the only way to stem the rising tide of polythene is to outlaw the plastic shopping bag.
According to the official note, the “use, storage and sale” of plastic bags of any kind or thickness will be banned. The new guideline means that customers, shopkeepers, hoteliers and hospital staff face a 100,000 rupee fine (£1,370) and a possible jail sentence for using non-biodegradable bags.
I eat lunch often with my good friend Andy. He works at the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. They oversee state government land and regulate our precious resources. Which is why we were quite stunned when we looked outside and saw a blasted leftoverbag twittering around on a tree top, snagged on a branch. We decided that we are going to start an experiment and see how long our state officials will let this catastrophe remain for public observation. Will any one save this bag, or will we have to do it ourselves. Only time will tell.
Not to our surprise the bag was still there. White, baggy, and very much leftover. The Head honcho of the DNR came in. We wanted to tell him that there was a leftoverbag stuck in the tree outside and he should get it, or instruct one of his minions to. We didn’t tell him, we want our study to remain objective. He didn’t even look out the window.
Its snowing really bad today, 4 inches. The branches of the tree are coated with the first heavy snow of the year, the whitest kind. This makes the leftoverbag blend in very well, it’s natural camouflage. They are clearing the sidewalk underneath with a skid steer, they’re too focused on their work to look up. We wonder if it may fill with snow…i want to climb up there and get it out. But no, we must remain unbiased in our study.
Day 4: Thurs. 12/04/08- We had a guest at lunch today. He saw the bag, he was mad about it too. Then he said there weren’t any cougars in southwest Wisconsin and I got mad at him. But not as mad as I am about his bag. I feel like we should contact someone about this, the office manager perhaps, but would that interfere with our study?
Day 5: Friday. 12/05/08- Happy it is Friday. Angry the leftoverbag has been here for 5 days. It looks like there is something in it. Snow? A birds nest? We contemplate the tragic horror of what would happen to a family of birds if it were to make its nest in a leftoverbag. We worry about the weekend. What if it blows away? It doesn’t look like it, it’s wrapped around pretty tightly.
Day 8: Monday 12/08/08- Its still there. I’d actually checked Friday night too. It has been blown inside out so whatever was in there is gone….its innards are now exposed. Crying shame. If it is not gone by the end of the week we will report it….i want to report it now. It is freezing raining outside and they are predicting 12 inchse of snow….good luck getting a bag out of that…
Day 9 Tues 12/09/08- yeah, bag is definitely still there…despite this crazy weather. In the past 24 hours this leftoverbag has been rained on snowed on and blown around visciously……it does not look comfortable.
Day 10 Weds. 12/10/08- We didn’t have lunch together but we did check on the bag. We had a minor freak out when I thought that it was only hanging by one handle and about to blow away. I felt like the time had come to pick it up. Fuck the experiment this bag was on the way to being eternally leftover! Once I looked closer I saw that it was in fact tied tightly…..it made us seriously considered our objectivity and wonder how long we can let it go.
Day 11 Thur 12/11/08- bag still there, it looks cleaner. Probably from the weather….it shines brightly in the sun….it makes us angry, its like its mocking us.
As I was going to lunch I saw a big leftover bag flying around on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road. It was a busy sidewalk there were a lot of people walking on it. They looked at the bag when they saw it flying, but they did not pick it up. They looked at it, and looked away, like it was a car accident or an ugly baby. It really pissed me off, I felt like screaming “HEY! HEY YOU JERKS! PICK UP THAT DAMNED LEFTOVERBAG!” But that would not be very nice. Instead I proved my point, by darting across the street, full speed as traffic was zooming towards me. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy or suicidal. I was not, I just wanted to get that damned leftoverbag picked up. I did not stop running after I crossed the road, instead I ran right up to that leftoverbag, swooped down, snatched it with my glove, and spun around and ran the other direction, as if nothing had happened. I bet those jerks won’t walk by a leftoverbag again without thinking about that incident.
Plastic Bags Statistics – And They’re Not Looking So Good
Petroleum-based grocery bags hit the checkout aisle in 1977. Presented as a revolutionary idea, they are now recognized as an environmental hazard. Just like bottled water, plastic bags are made from crude oil, contributing to global warming.
Up to 1000 – Estimated years for a plastic bag to decompose.
1460 – Plastic bags used in a year by an average family of four in the U.S.
12 million – Barrels of oil used to make the plastic bags that the U.S. consumes annually.
Less than 1% – Percentage of all plastic bags that get recycled in the U.S.
88.5 billion – Plastic bags consumed in the U.S. last year.
500 billion – Estimated plastic bags sold worldwide each year.
San Francisco has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery stores.
Ireland has a $.20 tax per bag.
France is banning plastic bags starting 2010 and starting 2008 in Paris.
South Africa has banned thin plastic bags
Uganda has banned thin plastic bags and has taxes on thicker ones.
Kenya is banning plastic bags starting 2008.
Zanzibar Islands have banned all plastic bags.
Mumbai, New Delhi, and two states in India have banned all plastic bags.
Bangladesh has banned all plastic bags.
Taiwan has banned all plastic bags as well as disposable plastic plates, cups, and cutlery.
November 14, 2008, 7:42 am
Cheap Green: Reusing Plastic Bags
By Kate Galbraith
Web users are sharing a variety of ways to reuse plastic bags. This project appears on Flickr. Being rather old-fashioned (as well as working for The New York Times), I subscribe to the newspaper — the actual printed copy. It gets plunked down on my doorstep every morning — always in a plastic bag, just in case it rains.
So despite my efforts to take a cloth bag to the grocery store, plastic newspaper bags are piling up under my kitchen sink. They can be recycled: most Whole Foods stores around the country have a plastic-bag deposit bin, for example, and plasticbagrecycling.org also provides localized tips.
But there are plenty of other uses, too. Many websites have sprung up with suggestions, some with exotic notions such as cutting bags into strips and weaving them into dresses or hats. Personally I use newspaper bags to store food in my refrigerator — opened packages of cheese, for example, or a bundle of scones.
I haven’t perished yet. If I had a dog, I would use plastic bags for the obvious.
The better news is that even newspaper bags are getting greener. I emailed with a New York Times spokeswoman, Abbe Serphos, about the bags. She told me:
Our current plastic bags are produced using a high percentage of recycled material and the bags can be recycled.
By early 2009, The Times should be fully converted to utilizing a new bio-degradable polybag for newspaper deliveries around the country. The bag is produced by GP Plastics and they call it their PolyGreen bag. The bag begins to degrade in the open environment within a few months and within two to three years when in a landfill.
With this new technology an additive is mixed with the plastic that causes the finished product to degrade over time, as it is exposed to oxygen in the open environment or in a landfill. In addition to being “oxo-biodegradable” the bag can be recycled along with any other plastic bags. The Times will be the first national newspaper to commit to using this environmentally friendly bag. While this new bag is more expensive, we believe it is an important change to make.
Ultimately, of course, it would be good to get away from plastic bags. Manufacturing them consumes plenty of energy — 40 percent more than paper bags although 40 percent less than paper bags, according to a recent article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which lays out the age-old paper versus plastic debate.
And in grocery stores in New York, the cheapest plastic bags may soon be none at all: Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to slap a 6 cent per tax on plastic bags, following in the tradition of cities in Europe.
“when plastic degrats it just gets smaller and smaller. In the ocean there are so many plastic shreds they compete with plankton and get eaten by whales.”
-its not a suprise. its nothing new. but damn is it sad.
Went to the taco stand today.
I ordered my tacos awkwardly and waited.
When i got my tacos they expected me to take my tacos with me, so put them in a bag.
But I said, “I will eat those tacos here.” The taco lady took them out of the bag and gave me the plate.
+1 taking tacos out of bag
-1 having a bag in the first place (without asking)