Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plastic bags are enviro disaster

As members of the W.A.T.E.R. Club, we would like to provide some additional information concerning our proposed ordinance so that the voters can make an informed decision in November. We care for and appreciate this community and feel that together we can lead the way for a positive change in the state of Idaho.

The initial idea of a bag ordinance in Hailey stemmed from members in our club and grew as we participated in several volunteer opportunities in the community. We were surprised to learn that about 500 billion bags are used every day worldwide (1 million bags a minute). In the U.S. alone, 100 billion single-use bags are used each year. We also found impacting data about five ocean gyres, one of which is located just off the coast of California. Even though this is not in our backyard, our waste still contributes. With this information, we felt it was time to make a change in the community to reduce our carbon footprint.

The ordinance is very specific as to what type of plastic bag will be banned. In the ordinance, a single-use disposable bag is "a bag provided by a retail store to a customer at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting goods or merchandise out of the retail store." Bags that would be exempted would be produce bags; bulk bags; bags for frozen foods; plastic wrap for flowers and for items from the bakery; newspaper, door-hanger and laundry dry-cleaning bags; and bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste or yard waste bags. This ordinance will not apply to restaurants.

Feel free to ask us questions about our ordinance on Facebook at W.A.T.E.R (WRHS Environmental Club) or check our website,

Erika Greenberg


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