Time to take aim at plastic bags
Back to Main MenuBusiness News HomeFront PorchIt Only MoneyOregon the EconomyPlaybooks ProfitsSilicon ForestWindow ShopStock Market ReportBusiness Public BlogBack to Main MenuVideos from the OregonianVideos from The Beaverton LeaderVideos from the Hillsboro ArgusVideos from The Forest Grove LeaderYour VideosView full sizeBenjamin Brink/The OregonianMason Brock, covered with plastic bags, listens while members o ugg boots sale f the Portland City Council last week consider banning one use plastic bags.Something about the ubiquitous billowy plastic bag captures the public imagination as few other environment challenges do. It might be the ubiquitous part that does it, because plastic bags, left unrecycled, seem never to go away.They turn into urban tumbleweeds, marine flotsam, landfill lifers.Portland ugg boots sale Mayor Sam Adams is determined to change that. After a week of media crafted hoopla featuring Muppet looking bag monsters at City Hall, he wrote an ordinance that in key ways meshes with a drive in the state Legislature to bar single use plastic bags. Patrons at the grocery checkout either will bring their own reusable bags or pay 5 cents per paper bag.A one time, everybody understands it statewide ban on plastic bags crafted, as the emerging state legislation is, with the involvement and support of Northwest grocers made the most sense to us. But the mayor’s plan, now keyed to start in 2012 just like the Legislature’s, deserves passage as long as none of its internal provisions collide with those up for approval in 2011 in Salem.The Portland C ugg boots sale ity Council will flyspeck the terms of the ban next week. By insisting it mesh with the state’s plan, the council can assure Portlanders they will not experience confusion if they should stop to fill the cooler in Canby.A ban in Portland also would spur momentum against the pesky bags if something should stall in Salem ugg boots sale unlikely considering the careful, collaborative drive led by state Sens. Mark Hass, D Beaverton, and Jason Atkinson, R Central Point.The goal is the same either way: to remove an environmental challenge.We say challenge because the single use plastic bags are not as evil as they are persistently portrayed.Bag for bag, plastic wins over paper when it comes to impact many more plastic bags can be produced using less energy and resources for lower unit cost, and plastic bags require less fuel per unit to truck to destinations.But plastic bags are so plentiful and “free” that they become litter, like cigarette butts. And our demonstrated inability to properly dispose of them makes them a known wildlife killer, sprawling visual blight and long term environmental menace.In taking them out of groceries, we’ll also support an Oregon wood pulp industry that supplies paper bag manufacturers while a 5 cent per bag charge would put the brakes on wastefulness of the kind we see with plastic.