I used to write a lot about plastic bag bans around the world, but at some point, I missed a few and, well, I don’t write about them as much. Here’s a list of cities that have banned plastic bags. It may or may not be accurate, because New York City is on the list and I don’t think they’ve banned plastic bags.
In any case, Brookline, Massachusetts just banned styrofoam containers and followed that up with a plastic bag ban the next day.
The law will affect supermarkets that have had more than $1 million in gross sales during the previous tax year. Retail pharmacies with at least two locations in Brookline under the same ownership also can’t use the bags, and retail stores with more than 2,500 square feet, or establishments with at least three locations that total more than 2,500 square feet of space in Brookline also can’t use the bags.
The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedyâ€”and our own complicityâ€”head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.
Midway is a horror film. The plastic islands in the Pacific are so fucked up.
“When it goes from zero to even a very small charge, it can feel very bad,” said Dan Ariely, an economics professor at Duke University. “It creates a very small financial burden but a very big emotional reaction.”
That quote from an interesting article in The New Republic that talks about the success of the Washington, DC plastic bag tax. On 1/1, stores began charging shoppers a tax of a nickle per plastic bag and bag use has gone down 50%. The article then makes the connection to a carbon tax and how even a tiny fee is better than no fee because of reason Ariely states above.
The article also mentions a failed $0.20 bag tax in Seattle that potentially reached too high. Nickle bag tax for everyone!
If you haven’t ever seen pictures of dead baby birds with tons of plastic in their stomachs, click through here. These photographs, by Chris Jordan (Running the Numbers), were taken 2K miles from the nearest continent, but close enough to the giant fucking pile of plastic shit that swirls out by Hawaii. Oh and by the way, there’s another one off of Japan, too. One problem with a giant fucking pile of plastic shit twice the size of Texas and more than 30 feet deep is adult birds fly over it looking for food. When they see a tasty looking bottle cap, they scoop it up and feed it to their babies. Then the pictures linked to above happen. Take a look.