from the Larchmont Environmental Committee:
Come see “Bag It”, a funny and illuminating documentary on this topic, at three screenings in our tri-municipal area:
Village of Larchmont Saturday March 9 at 2 PM (refreshments), followed by the film at 2:30 PM Village Center (Behind the Larchmont Public Library) Stay afterward for a Q & A session with Patti Wood of Grassroots Environmental and a reuseable bag giveaway.
Village of Mamaroneck Sunday March 10 at 2 PM Mamaroneck Public Library Mayor Norman Rosenblum and Trustee Ilissa Miller will answer questions about the new law. Refreshments will be served; reusable bag giveaway after the film.
Town of Mamaroneck Monday March 11 at 7 PM Mamaroneck Town Center (740 W. Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck) Conference Room C.
An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year–380 billion of those in the United States.
And every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags–bags that perhaps only carried home a prescription from the pharmacy or a quart of milk from the grocery store.
Plastic bags are made from petroleum, so trashing them is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil. Plastic bags do not go away; they do not biodegrade. Recycling them is literally not worth the cost: “$4,000 to process and recycle one ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32,” says Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment.
That’s why Larchmont is considering joining Rye and the Village of Mamaroneck, which have passed plastic bag phase-out ordinances.
This story, like all the pro-ban stories I see, make it sound like no more than one thing ever goes in a bag, and that the bag is randomly tossed out the window after just a minute or two. Bunch of lies and empty rhetoric.
Let’s break down the problems with this story:
1) “Plastic bags are made from petroleum, ….equivalent to dumping 12 million barrels of oil.” – This old saw is just plain silly. First off, making something useful, reusable, and recyclable from petroleum is not the same as dumping it. That’s idiotic. Also, plastic bags in the US are A.) made from natural gas, not oil, and B.) 12 million barrels of oil per year sounds like an insane amount, but it’s about 2/3 of our DAILY oil consumption. About 80% of the oil makes fuel (gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, etc). When oil is refined the waste product is what gets turned into plastic products. Only about 3% is converted into plastics – not just bags, but all plastics.
2) “Plastic bags do not go away; they do not biodegrade.” Which is why they are safe in a landfill. Modern landfills are entombed so that nothing breaks down. Decomposing stuff in landfills creates greenhouse gasses and leachates that poison the ground. Landfill operators don’t want things biodegrading.
3) “Recycling them is literally not worth the cost: … says Jared Blumenfeld,
director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment.” Frankly, Mr Blumenfeld is either an idiot or a liar. Recycling plastic bags is extremely simple. It is shredded, melted, and extruded into pellets. Those pellets are less expensive than virgin pellets, and plentiful. Why? Because lots of recycling centers are making good money recycling.
It’s very well meaning but not good for our Rye food service business’s. Our Mayor used the bag issue to distract from his Rye City Hall corruption scandals. They blew up anyway. We just passed over $300K in outside investigation legal expenses.