Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Plastic bags save time, money and the environment
All litter can be a detriment to the environment, but plastic bags make up only a tiny fraction of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Plastic bag manufacturing and recycling also provide 2,000 jobs to hard-working Virginians.
The Farm Bureau is pushing less sustainable and environmental options such as paper and reusable bags. But plastic bags produce significantly fewer greenhouse gases than paper or reusable bags.
Reusable bags cannot be recycled and are mostly made from foreign oil and are imported from Asia, and they have also been proven to harbor dangerous bacteria.
Plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable and are made into dozens of other products such as playground equipment, backyard decks and fences.
We agree with the Farm Bureau that existing litter laws should be enforced to the fullest, but banning or taxing plastic bags is not the answer and will have zero impact.
Encouraging plastic bag recycling, which has grown nearly 55 percent since 2005, is a better way to capture plastic bags and other film product.
The effects on retailers and consumers if plastic bags are banned or taxed:
n Retailers stand to lose. When they have to switch from plastic to the more expensive paper alternative, they need to either raise prices or take a hit to their bottom lines.
n It takes much more room to store paper bags, limiting warehouse space for other items. At a time when food prices are up 8.5 percent from 2009 and consumers are already tightening their belts, an added burden in this economy simply isn’t good policy.
n Would consumers pay the bag tax out of pocket? Will they have to sacrifice groceries to pay the tax?
n Would a ban impact how much consumers paying with SNAP will be able to purchase at one time if they cannot afford to pay for reusable shopping bags?
n This would significantly slow down the checkout process, with clerks having to stop and count bags before closing a transaction.
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM