Just a few thoughts on plastic bags...
There are approximately 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags produced annually with 100 billion bags discarded by Americans every year.
Plastic bags were designed and marketed by Exxon-Mobil. In the beginning, in order to convince reluctant grocers to carry the bags, the bags were given to grocers for free. Grocers were told by Exxon-Mobil to simply ask their customers if they'd prefer paper or plastic.
New York has recently considered a tax on plastic bags. Many New Yorkers feel dependent on small bags for convenience and lifestyle. Many New Yorkers adamantly oppose the tax - yet few offer viable alternatives.
While New Yorkers would rather not deal with the burden of fees - there is little room on the planet for the increasingly large piles of plastic bags. New York's garbage is currently carried away on barges to various national and international destinations. It is fair to say that some garbage is inevitably lost at sea. The remaining garbage may remain in landfills sealed in plastic for centuries.
One solution (rather than additional taxes or fees): bio-degradable plastic bags. Organic bio-degradable plastics are a young science and remain prohibitively expensive. That said, the battle of the bag will soon reach every responsible community on Earth. The price of sustainable plastics will inevitably fall dramatically - if their development is subsidized by early adopters (just look at the iPhone!)
I encourage New York to stay on the front lines, and to urge your local representatives and business owners to recycle fastidiously and replace conventional plastic bags with organic bio-degradable plastics. The nominally higher prices paid will be well worth it - and the world will be in your debt!
Remember: plastic bags only profit Exxon-Mobil. Furthermore, plastic bags have only become as ubiquitous as they are now through Exxon-Mobil's generous underwriting and clever marketing.
It's time we push back.
For more information on the Battle of the Bag, please visit: