Is It Time For a Worldwide Ban on Single-use Plastic Bags?

Let me state for the record, that with few exceptions, I do not like governmental bans or restrictions on personal behavior. That means the number of ounces of soda one can drink, or the amount on salt or kind of light bulbs that can be used; all should be off limits to the nosey bureaucrats’ intent on controlling every aspect of our daily lives.
There are, however, exigent circumstances when the harm being done is so massive that intervention in the form of bans is necessary. So it is with the worldwide pollution caused by the indiscriminate use of plastics for convenience rather than necessity.
Unlike climate change, very few are challenging the reality of the plastic trash and debris crisis. Estimates of single-use plastic bags range from 500 billion to 1 trillion bags worldwide every year. Virtually no corner of the globe has been left uncovered by plastic trash. Very few pristine locations remain unsullied.
Whether we are talking about whales off the coast of Spain , cows in India, or camels in the Egyptian desert or monkeys in East Java, globally many thousands of animals die ingesting plastics and then dying of starvation every year.
The Blue Danube is loaded with more trash than fish. Mount Everest is a mountain of trash and garbage. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of ocean pollution comes directly from plastics in the form of plastic bags, toothbrushes, containers of every shape and description, toys, and bottles. Time Magazine covered The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2012, one of the Five Gyres circulating in the oceans.

When Rolling Stone covered the Plastic Bag Wars in 2011, they noted that American shoppers used 102 billion plastic bags yearly. That figure has gone up to 380 billion bags yearly. It is very easy for a family of four to go through 500 plastic bags a year. Remember these are bags designed to last forever and are only used for 15 minutes or less on average.

With all this plastic being produced every year, you’d better believe manufacturers are fighting back using intimidation and litigation in their arsenal of tactics.

Why should you care?

  1. Plastic never goes away. Every piece of plastic produced in the last 50 years still exists unless it was recycled.
  2. 93% of Americans aged six or older have tested positive for BPA, a cancer causing chemical used in plastics.
  3. The search for lost Malaysian flight 370 has been hampered by the global marine litter crisis, as reported by CNN.
  4. The Plastic Bag Report lists 27 states, multiple countries, 102 cities in California and EU with complete bag bans or bans in various stages of legislation.
  5. The list of species testing positive for plastic in their bodies is growing, including 44 percent of all birds, 22 percent of cetaceans and turtles.

A better question is what kind of world do you want to leave to future generations? We are after all only as good as what we leave behind. As Captain Charles Moore notes we should be living our lives like it matters.

 

 

 

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Will We Finally Get Serious About “Saying No to Plastic” in 2014?

 Plastic is a bigger danger than global warming, or at least it is in the immediate sense, considering it is snuffing out the lowest common denominator in the food chain, says Neil Seldman, a waste recycling expert and president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, an organization with a long track record of promoting sustainable communities.

Will 2014 be the year we finally get serious about, “Saying NO to Plastics”?

Forget the hokum about global warming. Plastic pollution can be seen everywhere. This problem is here now not some place in the distant future.

 The vast amount of plastic trash that enters the oceans is a real problem, a problem that grows ever omnipresent on a hourly basis.

Plastic-Dinner

 Plastic pollution is destroying the world’s ocean ecosystems. The real problem with all the plastic entering the oceans is the fact that it never degrades. It photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic particles.

 Billions upon billions of smaller and smaller plastic pieces have now become part of the food chain finally absorbed within zooplankton.

 The oceans are constantly in motion.  Areas called gyres pull in waste from one part of the world and bring to other side of the world. As the plastic photodegrades into barely visible pieces, plankton have plastic debris in their bodies. Zoo-plankton are at the core of the marine food chain.

 This situation is so dire that we have places in the oceans where plastic debris outnumbers plankton.

 Unfortunately, that is not the worst of it. When birds, fish, and other sea creatures and  mammals ingest plastic debris which they mistake plastic bottle caps and bits and pieces for food’ the consequences often lead to a long slow death.

 When these creatures consume plastic debris they suffer with blockages of digestive tract followed by satiation, starvation and general debilitating and finally death.

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The US Costly Addiction to Plastic; Beijing Bans US Imports of Trash!

Operation Green Fence, a campaign by Chinese customs to strictly enforce laws governing the import of waste, “could be a game changer,” says Doug Kramer, president of Kramer Metals, an international scrap dealer in Los Angeles. “A lot of companies have used China as a dumping ground, getting rid of … substandard scrap and trash,” Mr. Kramer says.

CHINA PLASTIC TRASH HEAP The headlines were recently blaring …Beijing bans US imports of trash! That one my friends, is a very big headline. Bet you didn’t know our biggest export to China is our trash!

Yes, we export more trash than soybeans or wheat. It seems, except for green crusaders, very few people, politicians, or people in the MSM want to acknowledge the silent nightmare that plastic trash and garbage presents.

Instead of pushing climate change policies EPA should be pushing plastics policies!  We are entering a period of global cooling.   

 

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Oh My God, is Global Warming Causing More Vasectomies?

IPCC report makes US meteorologist cry – and give up flying …The Guardian

What can you say about the kind of hysteria that makes supposedly grown men sound like such hysterical fools? One possible explanation if that they suffer from the same kind of delusional incoherent hysteria that affected the accusers during the Salem witch trials.

Certainly sounds that way. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus confessed on Twitter,

I just broke down in tears in boarding area at SFO while on phone with my wife. I’ve never cried because of a science report before. 

To which I want to CHURCH OF CLIMATOLOGYsay, “Really, no R_E_A_L_L_Y?”  Well, if the slobbering Mr. Holthaus could put his tissues down long enough, maybe he could take the time to read the entire report.

It seems the real story is buried deep inside the IPCC Report, and no wonder.

  • 1. The earth’s temperatures have been cooling for the last 15 years. The IPCC calls this a pause, Time Magazine reported we were entering a mini ice age in the 70s.

2.  The Telegraph reports there has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, they equivalent of almost a million square miles

3.  Despite BBC predictions the arctic would be ice-free by 2013 it remains ice covered.

The truth is it’s hard to find a single prediction by this group that has been truthful or has come to pass. We have more to worry about from the U.S. military’s experiments with climate warfare through the HAARP programs than the threat of global warming from carbon dioxide.

The MSM has bought into the global warming farce hook, line, and sinker. Not only do they not report the facts, they fail to report on who is hurt most by global warming charade…the poor in developing countries.

These are three recommended resources to go to get views differing from the party line:

ICECAP - International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, is the portal to all things climate for elected officials and staffers, journalists, scientists, educators and the public

Global Climate Cooling Facts – This is another portal with links all things climate change including briefings, consensus reports, key organization links etc.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation – Launched in 2009, the GWPF is a think tank that provides in-depth views from every perspective (IPCC position through outright skepticism). They try to provide robust and reliable economic analysis.

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Plastics are forever

This is one of the best slide presentations on plastics and the impact they have on our environment you are likely to see. Intelligent and well thought out AND put together by two “green teens” with Plastics Are Forever Youth summit.

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Scientists Recommend Classifying Certain Plastic Waste As Toxic Trash

PLASTIC WORLD 3

An international group of scientists think it is time to consider categorizing some plastic waste as toxic according to a recent LA Times article. Considering the damage to the environment and the health hazards posed by plastic debris and plastic pollution, many believe this is about time.

The throwaway mentality of all things plastic including single-use plastic bags and bottles has burgeoned into an ecological disaster of monstrous proportions in the last 30 years. The tide of plastic debris that has spread throughout the world’s oceans and across every continent poses health hazards to wildlife, marine life and the world’s populace.

It isn’t just the plague of plastic choking the seas as far as the Artic, or the enormous costs of cleaning up our coastlines reaching $500 million annually on the west coast alone. It is having to deal with the unintended consequences of mindlessly tossing vast quantities into the environment without recycling.

Scientists, researchers and marine biologists have found:

  1. Mutant fish with toxins stored in their fats thought to be caused by two General Electric manufacturing plants along the Hudson River that produced PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) from 1947 to 1976.
  2. One third of the fish caught in the English Channel have plastic contamination.Researchers estimate that fish living at intermediate depths in the North Pacific swallow as much as 24,000 tons of plastic debris a year.
  3. Science Daily found BPA, or Bisphenol A,(used as a hardener in polycarbonate plastics and as the lining in food and beverage containers) has been linked to childhood obesity, along with adverse effects on the heart and kidneys of adolescents.
  4. The National Academy of Sciences just published a study conducted by Washington State University and recently reported on Fox News . The study found compelling evidence that Bisphenol A may negatively impact women’s reproductive systems, cause chromosome damage, birth defects and miscarriages.

Plastics do not biodegrade; they photodegrade, breaking down into smaller particles and microscopic bits in the oceans. These plastic bits and their chemical compounds find their way into the food chain as they are ingested by over 180 known marine species.

Degrading plastics leach toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A into the seas. Smaller fish and crustaceans mistake the plastic debris for food are then eaten by larger and larger species. Estimates are there are six times as much photodegraded plastic is in the oceans than is plankton!

Scientists are now calling for a similar approach to fighting plastic debris and pollution as has been used in the past to fight fluorocarbons and refrigerants worldwide. In particular, they want to classify PVC, polystyrene, polyurethane and polycarbonate as the most hazardous/toxic plastics.

The U.S. could take lessons from many countries when it comes to managing plastic trash, especially Japan where 77% of its plastic waste was recycled in 2010.

It should also be noted that Canada, the European Union, and China have banned BPA in some uses. The World Health Organization calls Bisphenol A a particularly dangerous chemical also linking it to cancer and birth defects.

A complete report on the damage done to the environment, entitled Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans, has been put together by Greenpeace. The 44 page report details the scale of contamination along with workable solutions.

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Multiple School Shootings Committed by Those Taking Psychotropic Drugs

Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money-drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure.

According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International

At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.  There have been 109 wounded and 58 killed.

Of these 14, seven were seeing either a psychiatrist (5 of them) or psychologist (2 of them).  It is not known whether the other half were seeing a psychiatrist, as it has not been published.

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Why a Romney Presidency Will Be Better for Jobs & the Environment Than Obama

There is such extremism on both sides of the environment/green movement that the words common sense environmentalism are viewed as an oxymoron. The battle lines have been so fiercely drawn that compromise on any level is deemed impossible.

Rest in Peace

The constant rhetorical flame throwing on left, riddled with accusations that all conservatives want dirty air, dirty water and to plunder the planet brings nothing but derision and contempt from those who want a better environment tempered with a modicum of practicality. Such is the case of Romney vs Obama and the 2012 election.

From Concept to Execution

Many feel that Obama’s record on the environment can best be described as the politics of illusion brought to a new high. The concept of a stronger economy stimulated by growth of new green jobs has very strong surface appeal. Had Obama’s administration conducted a genuine evaluation into all the factors necessary to execute a successful program, the green jobs programs might have had a chance.

The truth is Obama’s green jobs policies have been a financial boondoggle for the taxpayers, littered with the likes of Satcom, Solyndra, Abound Solar and Evergreen Solar. Over thirty-five companies have already filed for bankruptcy or are nearing it according to Green Corruption.This is a spectacular record of failure for economy and the environment with cronyism and corruption reigning over common sense and the common good.

What Counts is Execution

All of which brings us to Romney, a politician with a record of balancing both the needs of the economy and the environment. When Republican Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts he worked with a legislature comprised of 85% Democrats and he got things done.

According to the New York Times:

Today in Massachusetts, environmentalists credit Mr. Romney with helping to promote smart growth and reducing air pollution by putting in place tough regulations curbing certain toxic emissions from power plants. They also praise him for signing into law a bill embracing oil spill prevention measures.

Brian Gilmore of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts recently told USA Today that Romney struck a balance as governor balancing the needs of the environment with concerns about potential regulations and their impact on employers. In other words the environment didn’t suffer because Romney also looked forward, weighting the consequences of legislation on Massachusetts employers and workers.

This is a common sense approach to the government’s involvement to environmentalism. Romney has said, “thoughtful environmentalism need not be anti-growth and anti-jobs.” and his record in Massachusetts as well as his endorsements demonstrate that.

You can check out Mitt Romney’s environmental record and platform here. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for jobs and the environment!

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Poll: Is There a Plastic Bag Ban Coming to a City Near You?

Cities across the country are resorting to bans as a way to reduce the impact and harmful effects of single-use plastic bag. Los Angeles joins San Francisco, Toronto, Westport, Connecticut and the State of Hawaii, all with single-use bans in place.

In May 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve the banning of single-use plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines. The ban will be phased in over the next 16 months. Shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each.

Cities that have instituted these bans have seen a dramatic decrease in the damage single-use plastic bags cause our environment. How do you feel?

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More & More Reasons to Say No to Plastics

There are more and more reasons to Say No to Plastics. Most single-use plastic bags are used an average of 12 minutes by U.S. consumers, yet their real life span, unless recycled, is many hundreds of years. The plastic trash building up in our oceans is a ticking time bomb.

The statistics below are from a recent Huff Post Green article which asks, “Did you just eat a plastic bag?” For a more complete look view it here.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports the following data on plastic products in the American municipal waste stream for 2008 alone:

1. Plastic Plates and Cups: 780,000 tons were produced, and all 780,000 tons were discarded.
2. Plastic Trash Bags: 930,000 tons were produced, and all 930,000 were discarded.
3. Plastic Bags, Sacks and Wraps: 3,960,000 tons were produced. 9.8% was recovered (390,000). 3,570,000 tons were discarded.
4. “Other” non-durable goods including plastic disposable diapers, footwear and clothing: amounted to 4,810,000 tons produced with all 4,810,000 tons discarded.
5. PET Bottles and Jars: 2,680,000 tons were produced, 27.2 % were recovered (730,000 tons) and 1,950,000 tons were discarded.
6. HDPE (white translucent homopolymer bottles): 750,000 tons were produced, and 29.3 % (220,000 tons) were recovered. 530,000 tons were discarded.
7. “Other Plastic Packaging” including coatings, closures, lids, caps, clam shells, egg cartons, produce baskets, trays, shapes, and loose fill: 3,720,000 tons were produced. 3% (110,000 tons) were recovered, and 3 Million 610 Thousand Tons were discarded.

 

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