Opposition to plastic grocery bags grows

July 28, 2005

Opposition to the use of plastic grocery bags is increasing across the United State and most particularly in California, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The problem is the bags are filling landfills, clogging storm drains, harming marine life and littering roadsides, with nearly 90 billion used each year by 300 million U.S. citizens.

Some cities are alarmed. San Francisco officials are expected to resume discussions on a proposed 17-cent-a-bag fee to discourage their use and a similar plan may be proposed in Los Angeles, the Bee reported Thursday.

The problem started when plastic grocery bags were introduced during the early 1980s -- spawning the now familiar checkout question, "Paper or plastic?"

Today, plastic grocery bag manufacturing in the United States is a $1 billion-a-year industry, with the bags' price hard to beat; plastic grocery bags cost about a penny each to manufacture, compared with 5 1/2 cents for a paper bag.

But opposition is spreading, with the bags already banned in some countries while others are imposing fees. Three years ago, after Ireland set a 15-cent-per-bag fee, the use of plastic grocery bags fell by 90 percent.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: California becomes first US state to ban plastic bags

Related Stories

Life without plastic

January 2, 2009

Amid a recent flurry of worrisome reports about plastic, a simple question came up: Could we live without it? Could my typical family - a mom, a dad, a 3-year-old girl and a 7-month-old boy - put aside the very material of ...

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.