Ireland found a simple solution to the plastic bag problem. In 2002 they started charging $.33 for plastic bags.
Motivated by a Tax, Irish Spurn Plastic Bags
Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable — on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.
QUESTION: Why can’t we do that in the U.S.?
ANSWER: because the plastic bag manufacturers would lobby our elected officials and end up with “incentives.”
In honor of Ireland, I’m recycling this post from last year. I gave these for Christmas gifts.
TOP 5 REASONS TO REUSE A BAG:
- The petroleum in 14 plastic bags could drive a car 1 mile.
- Americans use over 14 billion plastic bags annually. (That’s 1 billion miles)
- It takes 70% more global warming gasses to make a paper bag than a plastic bag.
- Paper bags do not biodegrade in landfills
- Cities spend up to 17 cents per bag in disposal costs. (That’s $2,380,000,000.00)
1 Bag At A Time The website has a great flash show with some amazing facts about plastic and paper bags. I bought one of these bags today at Cupboard Natural Foods in Denton, TX. It’s a really nice, sturdy, BIG bag with a rectangular bottom so it stands up well.