Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Arcata plastic bags

From Appropedia
Revision as of 01:48, 21 October 2010 by Alimorse (Talk | Contributions) (Efficacy of other programs and campaigns - Lab 2)

Jump to: navigation, search
ENGR308 Page in Progress
This page is a page in progress by students in Engr308 Technology and the Environment. Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team, but feel free to make comments using the discussion tab. Check back for the finished version on December 15, 2010.


This is a research project in partnership between Engr308 Technology and the Environment and the City of Arcata, during Fall 2010, to explore the reasons for and effects of a single use plastic ban bag would have in Arcata, Humboldt County.

Teams

Please list your team name, lab # and team member names (with user pages linked) here, as follows:

Review

Make sure not to plagiarize. Use the format of subsections (four = signs in this case) on various topics and references using footnotes[1]. Do not editorialize. Just paraphrase what you learn.

Click the edit tab for your section.

Existing programs in other locations - Lab 1

In California, Malibu, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Fairfax all ban single use, plastic bags. Just this year, lawmakers shot down a ban on single use plastic bags statewide. Elsewhere, Washington D.C. requires a charge to use grocery bags, while North Carolina banned single use and non-recyclable plastic bags in the Outer Banks. [1]

In January, bans take effect in Maui and Kauai, Hawaii, Brownsville, Texas, and February brings about a ban in American Samoa. Bans are already in place in Westport, Connecticut; Bethel, Alaska; and Edmonds, Washington. There are also campaigns to ban Plastic bags in half a dozen other California cities and counties, including San Jose and L.A. [2]

However, in the last 2 years, 11 states have attempted to ban single use plastic bags, and none of them succeeded. Seattle, Washington attempted to pass a tax on each bag used, but was voted down when it was put to voters. [3]

There has been multiple countries that has banned the use of plastic bags, of these include China. "Under the new rules, businesses will be prohibited from manufacturing, selling or using bags less than 0.025 millimeters (0.00098 inches) thick, according to the order issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet." [4] With a population around 1.3 billion China uses 37 million barrels of oil a year on Plastic Bag Production. [5]

Existing programs in other locations - Lab 2

  • County of Maui [2]
    • Siting unsightly litter, additional burden on landfills as well as the potential death of marine animals for reasons to enact a plastic bag ban.
  • Malibu Plastic Bag Ban
    • This Banning of single use plastic bags was put forward by presentations by local students and representatives from environmental groups on Monday, May, 12, 2008. This was followed by unanimously approval from the City Council. [3] Ordinance 323 was adopted May 27, 2008 and effective December 27, 2008. On the latter day Grocery Stores, Food Vendors, Restaurants, Pharmacies, and City facilities were mandated to comply. The rest of the remaining Retail and Commercial businesses were required to comply on June, 27, 2009.[4]
  • Baltimore
  • City of Chicago [5]
    • A plastic bag recycling ordinance was created July 19, 2010 to encourage waste diversion by recycling single use bags at stores.
  • San Fransisco, CA
    • A single use plastic bag ban was enacted in March of 2007 by the city of San Fransisco. Leading the way for many other bay area cities. Such as ****
  • City of San Jose, CA
    • A single use plastic bag restriction is being considered. Still allowing the use of 40% recycled plastic bags. Currently you can purchase a bag for 10 cents, but expect an increase to 25 cents in two years 2012-2013. [6]
  • City of Brownsville, Texas [7]
    • A voluntary bag ban is encouraged untill the date of January 1, 2011 when a plastic bag ban will be enforced. This ordinance also widens city ordinances to include litter, the start of cleaning up a town.

Existing research in plastic bags - Lab 1

  • Lots of data regarding carbon, water and other values one would find in an LCA.

Environmental Impacts

The carbon footprint of plastic (LDPE or PET, poyethylene) is about 6 kg CO2 per kg of plastic. Give a few more details... especially the assumptions. [8]


Studies have been done in major cities across the globe to determine the impacts of one-time use plastic carryout bags on the environment. Here is the data from one such study completed in Los Angeles County in 2009. [9]


Data is provided by Ecobilan, which is "a department of PricewaterhouseCoopers that provides analysis of the environmental performance of products and services prepared a comprehensive LCA in 2004 that shows the impacts of paper carryout bags, reusable low-density polyethylene plastic bags, and plastic carryout bags made of high-density polyethylene upon the emission of various air pollutants such as VOCs, NOx, CO, SOx." [9] [10]


In this section, emissions related to plastic carry-out bags are compared to those of paper carry-out bags


Emissions Sources

Air Pollutant Emissions (Pounds/Day)

VOCs NOx CO SOx Particulates
Emissions attributed to the 67 stores

in the unincorporated territory of Los Angeles County

(assuming 10,000 plastic carryout bags used per day per store)

87 62 111 54 44
Emissions attributed to the 462 stores

in the incorporated cities of Los Angeles County

(assuming 10,000 plastic carryout bags used per day per store)

601 429 764 371 304
Total emissions 688 492 874 425 348



Emissions Sources

Air Pollutant Emissions (Pounds/Day)

VOCs NOx CO SOx Particulates
Emissions attributed to the 67 stores

in the unincorporated territory of Los Angeles County

(assuming 6,836 paper carryout bags used per day per store)2

450 1,150 148 414 75
Emissions attributed to the 462 stores

in the incorporated cities of Los Angeles County

(assuming 6,836 paper carryout bags used per day per store)2

601 429 764 371 304
Total emissions 515 1,317 169 473 86


The following table is a summary of key indicators from a LCA study in the Handbook of Biodegradable Polymers[11]

Note:

LDPE - Low density polyethylene

PET - Polyethylene terephthalate

PCL - Polycaprolactone

PLA - Polylactide

PHA - Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Type of plastic Cradle to grave

non-renewable

energy use (MJ per Kg)

Type of wast treatment Green House Gas emissions

(kg CO2 per kg)

LDPE 80.6 Incineration 5.04
PET (bottle) 77 Incineration 4.93
PCL 83 Incineration 3.1
Mater-Bitm starch film grade 53.5 Incineration 1.21
PLA 57 Incineration 3.84
PHA 81 Incineration Not Available

Existing research in plastic bags - Lab 2

Efficacy of other programs and campaigns - Lab 1

  • There may be some overlap with the existing programs team, but focus on programs and campaigns that have been evaluated for effectiveness.

Irish Bag Ban

This article talks about the Irish ban and lists some other countries' programs you might want to look into- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2205419.stm --Calebf 20:38, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

China Bag Ban

San Francisco Bag Ban

Describe it. [12].

Outcomes. [13].

Pros and Cons or Lessons learned. [14].

Los Angeles Bag Thing

Describe it. [15].

Outcomes. [16].

Pros and Cons or Lessons learned. [17].

Efficacy of other programs and campaigns - Lab 2

  • There may be some overlap with the existing programs team, but focus on programs and campaigns that have been evaluated for effectiveness.

International Programs

Ireland

After a 15 Euro cent tax on plastic bags:

  • Approximately a 90% reduction in use of plastic bags
  • "reduced litter and negative landscape effects"
  • "overwhelmingly positive" response from the public and storeowners alike
  • In Europe, taxing for environmental reasons is not a new concept. (Perhaps this adds to the acceptance of a tax on plastic bags.)
  • In the neighboring Northern Ireland, there is no tax on plastic bags. It is "highly unlikely" that shoppers would travel there to avoid the levy because it is such a minor portion of the total amount spent on any given shopping excursion. The soundness of this assumption is augmented by the fact that diesel and petrol costs do differ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; in this instance, consumers cross borders to avoid the more expensive fuel.
  • The Irish Business Against Litter and the National Trust of Ireland together conducted litter surveys after the levy was imposed to evaluate its effects. "Between January 2002 and April 2003 the number of "clear" areas (i.e. areas in which there is no evidence of plastic bag litter) has increased by 21%, while the number of areas without ‘‘traces’’16 has increased by 56%."
  • In comparison, "the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System notes that plastic bag litter accounted for 5% of national litter composition before the introduction of the levy. In 2002, this number fell to 0.32%, in 2003 to 0.25% and to 0.22% in 2004."

Right

[18]

China
Taiwan
South Africa
Australia
Italy
Denmark

Challenges - Lab 1

Plastic bag bans in San Francisco and other areas have resulted in most people simply switching to paper bags. It has also resulted in law suits, and in Oakland the ban was overturned by plastic industry plaintiffs who argued that a plastic-only ban was illegal since there were no studies on the effects of increased paper bag usage. This illustrates that "plastic-only bans have proved vulnerable to legal challenges," and that if the end-state is supposed to be a complete shift to reusable bags, then there is no reason to leave paper bags out of a bag ban, especially since it renders the ban legally unstable.[19]

Significant Interest Groups Against Ban

  • Small businesses: expensive to implement
  • Consumer groups: inflated grocery bills, California expanding deficit
  • American Chemistry Council (ACC): think plastic bag ban is irrelevant, desire more efforts towards recycling[20]

Laws

Challenges - Lab 2

  • Laws, SIGs, etc.

Environmental Justice issues - Lab 1

  • Health effects, secondary effects, other issues.

Environmental Justice issues - Lab 2

  • Health effects, secondary effects, other issues.

Who is working on this in Humboldt

  • If you come across programs, individuals or organizations already going on in Humboldt. Please list them here.

General Awesomeness

  • Chico Bag - a reusable bag company that has a "Take Action Page" including Google map feature that has pins on the map for every place that has or has tried a bag ban![21]
  • EPA on paper vs. plastic bags[22]

References