San Francisco is the first city to ban plastic shopping bags - the city's Board of Supervisors approved legislation to outlaw plastic checkout bags at large supermarkets in about six months and large chain pharmacies in about a year. The stores are encouraged to use bags made of recyclable paper. Read more here. From USA Today, comes an editorial in today's edition "Plastic-bag ban full of holes: San Francisco’s scheme sounds good, until you hear the costs." For example:
1. Plastic bags cost a penny each, paper costs about a nickel, and compostable bags can run as high as 10 cents each.
2. Compared to plastic bags, paper bags require four times as much energy to produce, and 85 times as much energy to recycle paper bags.
3. Paper bags generate 70% more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
4. Paper takes up nine times as much space in landfills and doesn't break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does.