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Tag Archives: Recycling

Reusable Grocery Bags Only Option in Ski Towns

bagsatlandfillThe Carbondale, Colorado, Board of Trustees voted 5-1 in favor of a plastic grocery bag ban, rather than adopting a usage fee. The ban takes effect in May 2012 and closely mirrors one passed by neighboring Aspen’s City Council.

For now, the new ordinance applies only to bags provided at grocery stores larger than 3,500 square feet. It prohibits the distribution of plastic shopping bags to customers and imposes a 20-cent fee for each paper bag shoppers opt to use. Currently, there is only one grocery store that exceeds 3,500 square feet in Carbondale.

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Plastic Bags & Big Tobacco: Switch to Reusable Bags Now!

plastic_bag_warsThe August 4 issue of Rolling Stone (of all places!) includes an amazing article by Kitt Doucette about the lack of importance the US places on curbing—nevermind eliminating—single use disposable bags. Did you read it? Are you angry? You should be!

Guinness World Records has named plastic shopping bags as “the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world.” As we’ve been saying for a long time, they are also a leading source of pollution.

But did you know that while the rest of the developed world is fighting to curb or eliminate plastic bag usage, the US plastics industry is doing whatever it takes to defeat anti-bag measures nationwide? Among their tactics: political donations, intensive lobbying, misleading PR campaigns, and lawsuits.

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Bag It: Filmmaker Tackles Plastic Bags In FilmBag It: Filmmaker Tackles Plastic Bags In Film

grateBag It, a documentary produced and directed by Suzan Beraza, depicts Americans’ single-use consumption obsession of plastic bottles, plastic bags and to-go cups.

The film follows Telluride (Colorado) resident Jeb Berrier’s personal quest to learn more about the effects plastic consumption has on the environment and our health. It is an eye-opening glimpse into the usage of plastic and a wake-up call for how reckless its consumption is.

The ultimate question the movie raises: How does the brief usage of a disposable product that lasts forever make sense?

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Two Ideas For Your Unwanted Plastic Bags: Make Gasoline And Beds!

Now that you’re dedicated to using cool printed reusable grocery bags, what will you do with your surplus of plastics that have accumulated around your house? Here are two nifty ideas that made news this week.plastic_bags_mricciardi

1. Make gasoline! A Japanese inventor has created a machine suitable for home use that can turn plastic waste into fuel. Akinori Ito’s machine heats up household plastics, traps the vapors in a system of pipes and water chambers that cools and condenses them back into crude oil. The crude is suitable for use in generators and some types of stoves and can be further refined into gasoline.

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Ziploc and RecycleBank Launch Recycling Program

Reusable sandwich and snack bags are becoming more popular, but there are still millions of American households that still use plastic sandwich bags. In response to that, Ziploc and RecycleBank launched a new recycling program to help reduce the environmental impact of Ziploc plastic bags. The new program includes a rewards component to customers who commit to recycling their used Ziploc bags instead of throwing them away.

ziplocrecyclingSC Johnson, owner of the Ziploc brand, understands the recycling limitations of its products and is thinking of different ways to offset the environmental footprint of its plastic bags. Now, it’s easier than ever to recycle Ziploc bags. Consumers stop by any store that offers a plastic-bag recycling program and place used, clean, and dry Ziploc bags in plastic shopping bag recycling collection bins.

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Reusable Bag Law Launches in Kauai and Maui

byobagIn Hawaii, Kauai and Maui are leading the way by banning single use plastic bags that easily find their way into water streams, ocean currents and the stomachs of birds and fish. The laws went into effect on January 11.

On Kauai, all commercial businesses, including restaurants and takeout food establishments, are restricted from providing plastic bags at checkout. Recyclable paper bags and biodegradable bags will replace plastic. Businesses that fail to comply face a $250 per-day fine for the first notice, $500 a day for the second notice, and $1,000 a day for the third. Plastic bags are permitted for raw meat, poultry, produce and bagging up bulk foods. Dry cleaning plastic garment bags are exempt from the ban.

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Reusable Grocery Bags Get Their Day in the USA

31251They’re doing it in Europe. They’re doing it in Asia (Reusable Bag Day). And, they’re doing it in America.

The 13th Annual America Recycles Day is on November 15. This is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging people to recycle and buy recycled products. Last year, America Recycles Day featured 750 registered organizations conducting 2,375 events!

Why is this day so important? The amount of energy saved from recycling aluminum and steel cans, plastic PET and glass containers, newsprint and corrugated packaging in 2008 alone was equivalent to:

* The amount of electricity consumed by 17.8 million Americans in one year
* The amount of gasoline used in almost 11 million passenger automobiles in one year
* 7.9 percent of electricity generation from fossil fuels in the U.S. in one year

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Ziploc Launches School Fundraising Program To Increase Recycling

Ziploc recently announced a partnership with TerraCycle to provide a fundraising opportunity exclusively for schools. Through the Ziploc® Brigade, schools can collect bags and containers of any size and send them free of charge to TerraCycle to be turned into new plastic-based products.  For each bag or container collected, Ziploc® and TerraCycle will pay two cents back to the school. The program is a fun and easy way for parents and teachers to empower children to make a difference while learning about the importance of recycling and reusing.

“We are really pleased to be adding new materials to our collection programs,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “It’s exciting to be able to find new uses for more and more materials that would otherwise be ending up in landfills and giving schools a much needed fundraising opportunity at the same time.” Many recycling centers around the country only accept plastics 1 and 2, and this program is targeted at keeping plastics 3 thorough 7 out of landfills.

Schools can take this awesome initiative one step further by incorporating a reusable grocery bag fundraiser to make even more money for schools. We think that this trend towards more eco-friendly fundraisers that teach our youth and change mindsets about reusing and recycling is wonderful. Anytime we bring reusable shopping bags in lieu of plastic and paper bags, recycle meal containers, or take any other small step towards a better environment—while making money for our schools—is a win-win situation!

Do Not Put Plastic Bags In Curbside Recyling Bins

mfd-person-cartBob Cappadona manages the fifth-largest recycling facility in the United States: Casella Waste’s materials recovery facility in Charlestown, Massachusetts. That’s where more than 30 area municipalities bring their curbside recycling for processing.

Cappadonna says the biggest issue he has to deal at his facility is what he calls “plastic bag contamination. Single-use plastic grocery bags can clog the automatic sorting machines used to make recycling financially feasible. The bags are such a problem that sometimes Cappadonna has to shut down his 700-ton a day process so employees wielding knives can climb in to the huge machines to cut errant bags out—a delay that can take hours.

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The Post Holiday Rubbish Mountain: Trash or Recyclable?

The holiday season brings joy…and a substantial amount of waste. Have a green holiday—know what parts of your post-gift trash mountain are recyclable. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Wrapping Paper: Wrapping paper is fun, but it is generally produced with a lot of chemical dyes that contribute to water pollution. Although you can put some wrapping paper in the recycling bin, the heavy inks downgrade the quality of the paper.

What’s your best bet for recycling-friendly wrapping paper?

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