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April 24, 2018 - 9:54am

Today's Poll: Should single-use plastic grocery bags be banned in New York?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Jason Crater
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Yes please! We should be looking to reduce plastic consumption as much as possible. Those bags are nothing but a pain in the butt anyway.

John Roach
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Bring back paper bags.

Howard B. Owens
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The notion that plastic bags are worse for the environment than paper is a myth. Even some materials used to make totes, most notably cotton, offer no significant environmental improvement over plastic.

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/banning-plastic-bags-great-world-right-not...

Kevin Volk
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If the purpose is to encourage use of reusable bags, is there a compelling reason to support an outright ban over, for example, a fee or a tax? I am and remain leery of prohibitionism, and although I have a difficult time saying 'grocery bag black market' with a straight face, there it is.

Billie Owens
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I love scouring thrift shops for deals. I have a sizable collection of totes, some very fashionable and fancy, and I keep a stack in my car for my trips to Aldi's. The ones I use are sturdy and roomy with reinforced handles. I usually get them for 99 cents or $1.99. Haven't worn any out yet.

About the plastic, I read there's a floating island of plastic gunk in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas. Not good. It broke my heart to see a close-up photo -- in one of those National Geographic Photos of the Week compilations online -- of a poor little seahorse hopelessly entwined around a plastic Q-Tip. Let's cut down on plastic -- Q-Tips, drinking straws, water bottles, grocery bags. It makes sense to me.

jeff saquella
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I guess my question is how did it end up in the pacific ocean?

Jason Crater
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Howard - Thanks for posting that link. It was a good read. I still support a ban on plastic bags. Sounds like the best alternative may be reusable bags made from recycled plastic.

Howard B. Owens
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There is this sperm whale that was killed by floating plastic debris

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/06/sperm-whale-killed-plastic-p...

On a more hopeful front, scientists accidentally discovered a plastic-eating enzyme

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidenta...

A company called Saltwater Brewery has developed edible six-pack rings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YG9gUJMGyw

Chas DelPlato
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So you want shopper's to bring in their own reusable totes... Who knows what kind of critters (fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches, germs, pet hairs, other pet substances, etc...) might be hitching a ride right where your own personal reusable totes will be sitting.... NO THANKS ! Give me the plastic, I'll recycle my collected bags (as I do now). and... besides, with plastic, I can carry 10 to 20 bags at a time.

Chas DelPlato
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Another thought.... take a look at where else plastic bags are used, shipping bubble bags, ESD bags, frozen food bags, chip bags, assorted candy bags, bags that magazines are mailed in, phone books, produce bags (the kind with the nice little green ty-wrap), dry cleaning garment bags. Face it the list goes on forever, oh, and don't forget the big brown garbage bags that are required by the trash pick up companies. Why the push to ban specifically shopping bags ?

Billie Owens
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Hey DelPlato, I didn't say I want shoppers to bring their own recyclable totes. I just said that's what I do. I am speaking for myself. And as for Jeff's query about how the plastic Q-tip ended up in the Pacific. Who Knows? What's your point? The fact is there are too many "disposable" products and inevitably the waste stream will get sloppy and things will end up where they should not. I don't have an answer for that, much less a public policy proposal; I'm just sayin' let's try to be more conscientious of our footprint on this Earth, OK?

Chas DelPlato
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Hey Owens... I wasn't replying to your post or anyones else's !

James Burns
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Chas Delplato. My fear of people bringing in dirty bug infected bags is a hell of a lot lower than my fear of bugs and other contaminants from the farm, food processors, distribution center, trucks and grocery store. Bugs love food and it is hard to keep them and rodents away.

jeff saquella
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Billie.....I guess my point is that maybe our trash is not being taken care of properly. I'm pretty sure that the trash pickup trucks and recycle trucks have a responsibility to properly dispose of everything. So again.....how does it end up in the pacific ocean?

Howard B. Owens
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People drop it off of boats, drop it on the beach, drop it in rivers, other nations have looser standards for disposal of waste -- lots of ways. Carelessness on a massive scale.

Daniel Palmer
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Every decision made has a consequence. A ban on plastic bags would increase drastically the amount of dog waste on residents' lawns.

Howard B. Owens
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Now that's what I call Unintended Consequences!

Thomas Callan
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Dan, Very Good Point! But,,,, it is easier to start the wood stove with old paper bags as opposed to plastic?

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