Bicycle Fixation Weblog
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07/19/2007: "Oakland a Leader Again"
Oakland, California, proves itself a leader in sustainability (as well as cool bike shops) once again with its recent ban on the provision of grocery-type plastic bags at checkout counters. The ban affects establishments with sales of $1M or more a year and requires them to provide either recyclable paper bags with at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content and no old-growth content, and to offer reusable cloth or other durable bags as well.
What's most interesting in the ordinance is the statistics offered to justify the ban, some of which we quote here:
- Up to 1,000 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, or about 1,000,000 per minute
- Californians alone use about 600 bags per second, or about 52,000 tons each year, only 1/10th of one percent of which is recycled
- 80% of all ocean debris is plastic from land-based sources, and it kills over 1,000,000 seabirds, 100,00 marine mammals, and millions upon millions of fish annually
- 10% of US oil consumption goes to make plastics of all kinds, including plastic bags
You may view a text version of the ordinance at oaklandnet.com