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Links of the Day:

– Every spring, I’m reminded how much nicer Rochester would look without plastic bags. They’re in the trees, on highway medians, and on sidewalks.

Plastic bags are gross. They’re bad for the environment and they litter the landscape. They clog sewers and hurt animals. Few people recycle them.

Cities across the country, even conservative ones, are banning plastic bags. Others are taxing the bags, a strategy shown to dramatically reduce consumption. Senator Jim Alesi’s proposal to phase out plastic bags statewide never went anywhere. But there’s nothing stopping cities from taking up the issue.

Wegmans’ reusable bag campaign has been a huge success. The days of paper or plastic are long over. Would we really miss plastic bags?

If you need plastic bags to line the garbage bin or pick up dog poop, I have no sympathy. Buy the bags yourself and stop making the rest of pay.

I’d like to walk outside on a windy day and see a landscape free of floating debris.

– Target is remodeling its Rochester-area stores to include space for fresh produce and more grocery items.

Groupon has a customer-relations problem.

– Every office has a “Syracuse guy.” A Boston Globe columnist pens a love letter to Jim Boeheim.

– Check out these photos from the early 1950s of the War Memorial site being cleared for construction:

8 Responses to Time for Plastic Bag Ban?

  1. March 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm Grace S responds:

    The vast majority of plastic bags are not accidents, they are deliberate litter. People who feel the need to toss something out the car window after eating at Burger King would not be stopped by a ban or the ban of takeout bags.

    People who litter don’t care about what they are doing, regardless of what they are littering with.

  2. March 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm Reggie Henderson responds:

    what about a 5-cent deposit on plastic bags? it’s been pretty effective for reducing container litter

  3. March 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm Just One Voice responds:

    Three thoughts:
    – I agree with Grace that neither banning nor taxing plastic bags will stop litter. People who consider the world their trash can will just toss something else on the ground.
    – Why is it that recycling plastic bags is “good” but being thrifty and using them for a practical purpose generates a “buy the bags yourself and stop making the rest of us pay” attitude? During the Depression, people learned a lot about reuse.
    – We were told that we needed to change from paper to plastic to “save the trees” and now we hate plastic. What will be tomorrow’s trendy cause?

  4. Please not a 5-cent deposit. That is just another word for “tax.” I absolutely HATE the bottle bill. Why can’t I just recycle my bottles at the curb like I do with everything else? No, I have to pack them into the car, get a cart, haul them into the store, and wait in line to get my own money back. There may have been a time for that law, but it was back before we all had recycle bins picked up at our own houses every week.

    And who is going to want to go through all the returned bags at the store? More work for everyone. I’d rather just do without plastic grocery bags if it came to a deposit, though I use them to scoop the cat box and would still need bags from somewhere for that.

  5. March 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm Rachel responds:

    We’re fixated in this as a litter issue. But I’m wondering if there’s something about plastic bags that makes them more prone to “escaping” and flying around. We’re also ignoring environmental impact. Wanting people to stop littering and clean up their streets is nice, but it’s not a realistic solution.

    As for deposits, taxing bags is a simpler solution. Ireland did it and plastic bag use went way down.

  6. March 25, 2012 at 11:42 am patti wilcox responds:

    I agree – either use a reusable bag or recycle them like I do!

  7. March 26, 2012 at 10:09 am Chris Hollander responds:

    I believe when I re-use my plastic bag as a garbage bag or to pick up after my dog, I am recycling those bags. If you don’t want plastic bags, then don’t get them. To have the government make it so we cannot have plastic bags is ridiculous, since we would be forced to pay for plastic bags for our trash or to pick up after our dog.

    As for the litter, if there are no plastic bags, they will just throw out paper bags full of garbage.

  8. I think ending the production of plastic bags is a good way to go. I admit, I don’t fully understand the implications of that.

    Not sure what the alternative is for pooch owners – paper, I imagine?

    Been casually researching this subject for 2 or 3 years now and feel no closer to any viable answer. I vote for ending production though.

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