Bag Tax Acts as Habit Disruptor, Helps Reduce Plastic Usage

On the 22nd of May, the European Union will be voting on a measure to instate a plastic bag tax with the intention of reducing the masses of single use plastic generated by Europeans annually. In an article from the Guardian, Oliver Balch reports that Danish MEP Margrete Auken is a particularly outspoken proponent of a bag tax, but supports the small fee over an outright ban because it would function as a "habit disruptor". According to Balch:

International Approach Needed to Turn Tide on Ocean Pollution

Citing a new study from UCLA, the Los Angeles Times took a stand on behalf of the world's oceans last week, stating that international policy changes were needed to effectively stem the flow of plastic. The opinion piece, authored by Mark Gold and Cara Horowitz, explained that while many success stories have resulted from plastic bag legislation at local levels, statewide legislation is still notably absent. This is often due to lobbying on the part of the plastics industry, which pushes for its own interests to be upheld relentlessly.

Scientists Who Opposed EU Chemical Policy Have Industry Ties

Recent reports indicate that a group of scientists who have been vocal in their opposition of the European Union's provisional chemical policy may not be impartial researchers due to industry ties.

San Jose Passes Polystyrene Ban

After a debate which has spanned a number of years, San Jose has approved a ban on polystyrene today which will vastly restrict the presence of the plastic foam in the environment. According to an article in the Mercury News by John Woolfolk, the San Jose city council voted 9-2 in favor of passing a bill which would ban polystyrene food containers. The bill would take effect next year beginning with large, chain restaurants, and extending to smaller businesses the following year. According to Woolfolk:


FDA BPA Ban: Protecting Industry Interests?

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration has passed legislation which seem, on the outset, to be victories for consumer welfare. Bisphenol A, a now widely recognized endocrine disruptor, was banned from baby formula packaging, recently joined by a limit of arsenic levels in apple juice. While it is welcome and long awaited legislation, Kristin Wartman of the Huffington Post Blog writes that the FDA's actions reflect government pandering to industry interests rather than genuine concern for the welfare of the constituents it claims to represent.

Federal Ban on BPA in Food Packaging Introduced in Congress

With the emergence of a number of scientific studies emerge regarding the health effects of bisphenol A, the case for bisphenol A's elimination from food products grows ever stronger. Recent studies have connected the chemical to a myriad of health problems, largely related to hormonal disruptions, and in light of these overwhelming studies, the case for eliminating bisphenol A from the food system has made it to Congress at last.

California Bag Ban Dies in Senate

Despite a number of county and city level plastic bag bans that continue to appear with increasing frequency across the state of California, an effort to pass a bag ban into statewide law has died yet again at the hands of the Senate, KQED reporter Scott Detrow confirms. The recently defeated ban was only the latest manifestation of California's attempts to push a law limiting plastic use through the legislature.

California to Legislators: Stop Bogging Down Bag Bill

California's legislators have a reputation for being environmentally aware and concerned, but Huffington Post blogger and environmental attorney Lisa Kaas Boyle paints a different picture of the supposedly "green" policies California politicians espouse. Boyle writes about a new Senate Bill with a familiar purpose, Senate Bill 405, which is the latest incarnation of the plastic bag ban bill which reappears regularly, and is consistently voted down.

Should America Ban the Plastic Bag?

Plastic bag bans have been the subject of much debate in America recently as a number of states have taken on the challenge of finding solutions to the growing, unsightly problem of plastic pollution. In a thought provoking article featured on the New York Times, correspondent Elizabeth Rosenthal discusses the controversy surrounding banning plastic bags in New York City. For many other cities, such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Dublin, a bag ban or tax was a simple new measure to adapt to. With barely a bag in sight, Rosenthal writes, life goes on.

UPDATE: California Judge Sides With ACC on BPA Lawsuit

Proposed legislation that would list bisphenol A as a hazardous chemical under California's Proposition 65 was stalled by a judge last Friday, who has granted a preliminary injunction to the American Chemistry Council's case against listing the chemical. This move effectively removes bisphenol A from the Proposition 65 list until a decision is reached.

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