Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


City thinking of plastic bag ban

Madison could be the next city to adopt a worldwide trend of
banning plastic grocery bags.

The city?s Commission on the Environment discussed ideas to decrease
plastic bag and plastic water bottle use at a meeting Monday evening.

China, Rwanda, Eritrea, South Africa and the city of San
Francisco have already instilled a ban on plastic bags, with Ireland, Australia
and many African countries currently considering a ban or tax on
non-biodegradable plastic bags.


Whole Foods Market announced its ban on plastic grocery bags
in December, to take effect by April 2008.

?If China can do it, Madison can do it,? said Bruce Dickie,
a member of the environmental commission.

Ann Arbor, Mich., and San Francisco have banned selling
plastic water bottles at public events.

The commission questioned how to approach a plastic bag and
water bottle ban in a realistic, practical manner, agreeing that a flat-out
plastic bottle and bag ban is not their goal.

?I think we need to put this in perspective,? said Roger
Bannerman, an environmental specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources and commission member. ?What are we targeting??

Plastic bags used for carrying groceries are
non-biodegradable and do not fit into the list of recyclable plastics. Several
studies have proved toxins from certain types of plastic bottles contaminate
contents, making them harmful to consume.

?I always laugh at people who drink their pure water out of
plastic, and say, ?Wow, that?s really pure,?? said Mike Rewey, an environmental
commission member.

The commission addressed the idea to ban plastic water bottle
sales at public events, while spreading education about alternatives to bottled
water, like reusable water bottles.

?There is an alternative. We have tap water, and we don?t
have tap Coca-Cola or tap iced tea,? said Jon Standridge, the chair of the Commission
on the Environment. ?To me that is one of the reasons we are picking on bottled
water and not other bottled products.?

Members considered including the plastic bags used for
fruits and vegetables at grocery stores in a ban, although San Francisco did
not ban fruit and vegetable bags in its law.

Ald. Larry Palm, District 15, asked the commission members
how they could go about crafting effective legislation for some sort of plastic

?I?m really sort of worried about how you can actually craft
a law that would be meaningful,? Palm said. ?How can you properly phrase
something in legal terms and make it forceful??

At the Commission on the Environment?s previous meeting,
members asked George Dreckmann, the Madison recycling coordinator to craft a
report about recycling for a presentation to the commission in February.

Standridge said the commission will revisit some sort of ban
on plastic and decide how to move forward after Dreckmann?s presentation.?

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *