The Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance has a detrimental impact on landfills that has not been clearly identified. While the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identifies that plastic carryout bags currently end up in the landfill, unbeknownst to proponents of the ordinance is that the amount of material deposited in the landfill after the ban has been implemented is far greater than before the ban. Landfill impacts for both the State of California and for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are presented in Tables 1 and 2 respectively. While landfills can absorb the additional material with no problem, an unintended consequence of the single-use carryout bag ordinance, it is California’s Zero Waste Goal that suffers a setback that will have to be made up through other waste reductions!
To read more click on the following link: California Landfills Impacted By Bag Bans. This article is an update of the article previously released and titled “Fact Sheet – Landfill Impacts” originally released 16 April 2013. The new article includes the California statewide impacts in addition to the impacts to Santa Barbara and Ventura County landfills.
Disposal of plastic carryout bags requires care to prevent bags from becoming windblown litter. The following are some helpful suggestions:
Recycle plastic carryout bags through the Recycle Bin at the Grocery Store.
If your Recycling Bin at the Grocery Store allows for recycling of plastic bags and wraps other than plastic carryout bags, take advantage of this by recycling clean plastic bags and wraps as follows:
Clean produce bags
Dry cleaning bags
Wraps from toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, water bottles, etc.
If your curbside recycling bin allows plastic bags and wraps be sure to follow directions from your waste management company. Some companies require plastic bags and wraps to be put in a clear plastic bag and securely tied.
Never dispose of an empty single plastic carryout bag in a trashcan in a public area. If you cannot avoid this, then simply tie the empty bag is a knot to prevent it from becoming windblown litter.
When disposing of multiple carryout bags use one of the bags to contain the others, and drop off at a recycling container in a nearby grocery store or take home for recycling. If you cannot avoid disposal in a public trashcan, be sure the bundle is heavy enough to prevent it from becoming windblown litter.
Remember, All of us have the responsibility to keep the environment free of litter!
There are many who want to ban plastic carryout bags to help protect the environment, but have never thought through the consequences. One California state legislator stated “the amount of plastics going into the waste stream is pretty large.” What this legislator does not know is that the Plastic Carryout Bag Ban that he favored has unintended consequences that will make matters worse.
A ban typically involves banning plastic carryout bags and charging a fee for each paper bag issued. The fee is intended to motivate the consumer to use reusable bags. The basic idea is that a reusable bag, because you use it over and over, has a smaller impact on the environment than a plastic bag. Continue reading Landfill Impacts of Banning Plastic Carryout Bags→