Improve Iowa City with ban on plastic bags

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: September 29 2012 | 12:10 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 1:11 am in

100 Grannies for a Livable Future has proposed to the Iowa City City Council a ban on plastic bags.

Plastic bags are a fossil fuel product. As many as 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. One percent of these bags are recycled. It costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one.

Plastic bags blow into our seas, lakes and rivers. They have been found north of the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands. They end up on our coastlines where wildlife gets tangled in them. Over time, the bags break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers, eventually contaminating soils and waterways.

We see no reason a product we use for a few minutes should float in our oceans for a few hundred years or sit in our landfills forever. If one out of five people in our country switched to reusable bags we would save 1.33 trillion bags during our lifetimes.

Many cities, counties and nations have banned the bags. San Francisco was first in this country. The Outer Banks of North Carolina, Westport, Conn., Corvallis, Ore., every county in Hawaii, 12 cities in Australia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Mumbai, Israel, Mexico City and others have joined the cause.

Why not Iowa City?

Becky Ross

Iowa City

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