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Bag ban moves ahead in Portland

July 15 2010 | Activism, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

If a picture tells a thousand words, then the one below goes well beyond that. The front row of Portland's Council chambers, complete with a bunch of bag monsters. Nice visual. Yet the story is larger than even this photo would suggest. The Oregon crew brought together 6,100 petition signatures, a sign-on letter with the support of 70 local businesses, enviro groups and neighborhood associations with the common goal of radically decreasing our use of single-use plastic bags. These collective efforts resulted with an announcement from Portland's Mayor, Sam Adams, that the city plans to release a draft ordinance later this week to ban single-use plastic bags. If you missed the video of Mayor Adams talking about this subject check that out here. The single-use plastic bag issue is a huge one. Approximately 100,000,000,000 petroleum-based bags are used each year in the US (requiring 12,000,000 barrels of oil). Those are massive numbers. The real tragedy is the fact that only about 5% of these are recycled. The remaining bags just create a mess. What I love about this effort is that so many people came together to make it happen. Businesses, environmental groups, and people from a variety of backgrounds all pushed forward together for a future in Portland that will not be littered with plastic bags. Kudos to all the people involved in this effort.

photo: Stiv Wilson

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