(Photo from Zoë, Read, WHYY)
As expected, Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill yesterday that requires larger retailers to not offer one-use plastic bags beginning on the first day of 2021.
For anyone who has noticed the disgusting masses of plastic bags along roadsides and even in trees, the measure makes sense. Recycling has done little to ease the problem since only 10 percent of plastic makes its way into bins.
The cost is high for Delaware’s recyclers, with bags gumming up machinery used in separating materials.
While recyclingcontainers are required at supermarkets, a few months-worth of one-use bags quickly fills up one small bin.
Moreover, the effects of plastic bags, six-pack rings, etc. making their way into waterways can be devastating to aquatic life
Delaware joins California, New York, along with cities and counties in banning the bags. Canada and other nations will follow
Supermarkets and big-box retailers sawwhat was coming. Shoprite, by some measures thelargest grocer north of the canal, has a self-service checkout line for customers with reusable bags. Deep discount retailer Aldi charges for bags.
It could be argued that a better interim approach would have come from charging for all plastic bags. Germany’s Aldi says the practice drastically cut bag usage in its home nation.
Next up is a truly bad idea, legislation that would ban paper bags. Backers cite the effects ofdeforestation and chemicals used in paper production.
Never mind that in Delaware and elsewhere tree farms are a reusable resource and a source of income that actually preserves forestland. Also, anindustry leader in paper solutions (Solenis) is based near Wilmington.
The measure may come up for consideration next year and if passed would become “a bridge too far” and a hassle for the individual who forgot to bring his or her reusable bags.
Enjoy the day and be careful. The temperature and humidity have crept upward.
My resolution for today is to find the reusable bags accumulated from trade shows and other events.
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