plastic bag

England to Announce 5p Bag Levy

The Queen announced to the English Parliament yesterday that the government would be introducing a 5p levy on plastic bags distributed at large stores and supermarkets beginning next year, writes James Chapman of the Daily Mail. According to the article, more than eight billion plastic bags are used each year in England, which equates to approximately 130 bags per person. The bags ultimately end up littering the landscape, and there are generally around 70 bags literring each mile of coastline, posing a threat to wildlife which then consumes it. Chapman reports:

70 Million Plastic Bags Thrown Away Annually in Iceland

A new report published by Iceland's Ministry for the Environment has found that the annual number of plastic bags discarded in the country has reached 70 million per year-- a figure which shows a significant increase from last year's figure of approximately 50 million. According to Zoe Robert of the Iceland Review:

New York Poised to Charge 10 Cent Bag Fee

This week, New York city council received a proposal from two of its members which would impose a 10 cent fee on plastic bags distributed throughout the city. While the council was hesitant to suggest an outright ban, Mark Huffman of Consumer Affairs writes that the council hopes that the measure would encourage people to be more ecologically sensitive when they shop in the city. The fee would exclude bags given for take-out foods, medications, and alcoholic beverages.

Will Israel be Next in Line to Ban Plastic Bags?

Early last week, the Environment Protection Ministry of Israel announced that it has drafted a bill aimed at eliminating plastic bags from its culture and landscape, the Jerusalem Post reports. According to an article written by Sharon Udasin, the bill was written to reduce the distribution of plastic bags in retail stores.

California's Compromise: Bag Ban By 2015?

California lawmakers unveiled a compromise bill last Friday that, if passed, would ban single use bags and impose a tax on bags distributed at the checkout as early as 2015. The bill has been a long time coming, the result of pressure from state representatives and environmental groups alike. According to Charlotte Alter of Time Magazine, the changes brought about by the bill would be enormous. She writes:

Singapore Uses 3 Billion Plastic Bags Per Year, Study Reports

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has published a study which reports that the citizens of the country use approximately 3 billion plastic bags per year, resulting in a staggering amount of avoidable garbage. Eco-Business' Elga Reyes reports that the SEC has urged retailers to take action against the growing plastic waste figures by taking matters into their own hands. Reyes writes:

Primary School Kids Talk Bag Fees With UK Prime Minister

A group of children from a primary school in Teddington, Greater London recently went on a trip to 10 Downing Street to share an environmental message with the UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron, according to an article published in the Richmond and Twickenham Times. The school group traveled with MP Zac Goldsmith and a four meter wide albatross constructed from plastic bottles, and arrived at Downing Street hoping to share an environmental poem. Cameron emerged to meet with the group. Writes reporter Clare Buchanan:

Industry Fears Economic Impact of Bag Legislation

Plastic bag bans have been on the rise in America as local governments have begun to respond to consumer concerns about single use plastic. Alongside increasing instances of plastic bag legislation has emerged the voice of the movement's most vocal opposition, the plastic bag industry. An article from the Huffington Post this weekend discusses the recycling industry's opposition to the bag ban trend, and blogger Laura Moss speculates that the reason behind the opposition simply boils down to industry interests.

Los Angeles Becomes Largest City to Ban Plastic Bags

In an unprecedented move for a large city, Los Angeles' city council voted on a bag ban last week, passing the motion 9-1 in favor of requiring stores to phase out plastic bags beginning on January 1st. According to an article by James Nash of Business Week, the legislation voted on by the Los Angeles city council will require companies which make more than $2 million per year or occupy retail space over 10,000 square feet to comply with the ban as of January, while smaller stores would be given until July 1st of 2014 to implement the change.

Sonoma County Supervisors Support Plastic Bag Ban

On Tuesday, the Sonoma county board of supervisors approved an ordinance that would ban plastic bags at the checkout and levy a 10 cent charge for all paper bags distributed to shoppers. According to Brett Wilkison of The Press Democrat, the vote was 4-1 in favor of passing the ordinance, with the sole dissenting vote coming from supervisor David Rabbitt. According to the article:

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