Ban on Plastic Bags

gpf Plastic Bag Ban in Fla20 years ago the question was “Paper or Plastic.” This fight was won by the plastic industry. The question in our supermarkets changed to, Is plastic OK?

But Plastic is not OK. Plastic bags are an incredible waste of resources.  The average bag is thrown away after 10 minutes of use, many often ending up in our oceans – in Florida only 12% of plastic bags are recycled. They fill our landfills where they are blown away to our waterways. Once in the water and exposed to the sun, plastic breaks down relatively quickly but the plastic particles, toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer, can survive 100’s of years. Of these particles, only 30% stay at the surface,  with the majority of the waste falling below the surface or to the ocean floor or ingested by marine life.

It takes only a small effort to replace plastic bags with reusable shopping bags and shoppers in more then 130 US cities do so today. But people will not change their habits without some incentive, even if a small one.

We want to reduce Plastic bag pollution and believe handing out free plastic bags is not O.K. That is why we invite you to sign our Petition.

What you can do.

As a first step:

Please ask for a paper bag if you forget to bring your own bag. Eighty eight percent of Florida’s plastic bags are not recycled, and as the common plastic bag is not biodegradable, the plastic lasts for centuries, much of it polluting our oceans. Paper bags are biodegradable and will dissolve in water without harm to sea-live, but paper bags are more expensive to retailers – thus asking for paper bags helps prompt retailers to consider better solutions.

The second step:

Sign the Green Party of Florida’s Petition to the Florida State Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation.

We want to overturn current Florida law that prohibits local governments from enacting bans on plastic bags.

If adopted, The Petition would make it possible to establish uniform statewide standards for cities and counties that want to implement plastic bag rules. It simply allows citizens and their local governments the authority to ban plastic bags, if they so choose.

Ireland reduced its plastic bags in 2002 by 95% with a simple 30 cent charge per plastic bag. Hawaii outlawed plastic bags. California will introduce a plastic bag fee. Over 130 US cities have a ban on plastic bags. China outlawed most plastic bags. Whole Foods, Burger King, McDonald and Trader Joe’s ban Plastic Bags.

Please sign our petition to overturn current Florida law that prohibits local governments from enacting bans on plastic bags. Go to our website: [Click on “Sign Petition” or “Sign the Green Party Petition”]

Friedemann Buschbeck
Tampa Green Party
of Hillsborough County

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