The New York Times
is officially in favor of banning plastic bags. In an editorial
posted on Dec. 2, the paper said "banning plastic bags would be a relatively effortless way to protect the environment, save energy and reduce a danger to wildlife as well as dogs and other pets."
Here's an excerpt from the column:
Here are some facts: Unlike paper bags, which can be easily recycled, relatively few plastic bags (about 7 percent) are ever used a second time. They last what seems an eternity, probably longer than most of the people using them. They put toxins in the soil, water and food chain. They are made of oil, something we should be saving rather than using when we do not need it. (It takes millions of barrels of oil to make the 100 billion plastic bags that Americans use in a year.)
And, as you may have noticed, they fly and tumble with the wind — to bodies of water where they endanger fish and aquatic life and to low-lying shrubs, lawns and woodlands where they pose a real danger for wildlife and pets that get tangled up in them. Dogs have been known to choke on them.
This column goes a bit farther than a column
the paper ran on Nov. 25, which supported a bill that would encourage recycling of plastic bags.
The Houston Chronicle
, meantime, had a story
on its Web site this weekend on how plastic bag makers including Superbag Corp. and the Progressive Bag Alliance trade group are fighting back against bag ban proposals -- and New York is a key battleground.
The plastic bag industry hopes that recycling programs, if passed in some major cities, could serve as models for the rest of the nation.
"We believe New York is the tipping point," said Isaac Bazbaz, whose family owns Superbag, a major plastic bag supplier to Wal-Mart that has its headquarters and factory in northwest Houston.
Bazbaz has spent more than $1 million to start the Progressive Bag Alliance, in part because he believes the industry has gotten a bad rap.
"We have been good corporate citizens," he said. "We just don't understand why no one has taken the time to hear our story."
This issue seems to surface somewhere new every week. It's interesting to see the PBA take a leading role in this debate.