Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Plastic'
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The Pandemic Is Bringing Back Single-Use Plastics In a Huge Way
One winner in the coronavirus pandemic: single-use plastic.
Just a few weeks ago, states were implementing sweeping plastic bag bans and limiting the availability of plastic straws. But as the virus has spread through the U.S., states are rolling back their plastic bag bans, stores are banning the use of reusable shopping bags, and restaurants are turning to single-use utensils to reopen in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
San Francisco, the very first city to introduce a bag ban way back in 2007, told its residents not to bring reusable bags to grocery stores. The entire state of California, one of the first to implement a statewide plastic bag ban, is allowing grocery stores to use them for a period of 60 days. Oregon has also placed its plastic bag ban on pause during the pandemic. And in New York, where a plastic bag ban just went into effect in March, enforcement of it won’t start until at least June.
SF outlaws reusable bags, which the city once championed
San Francisco, which once championed reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste, has banned the environmentally friendly totes in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
An amendment to the city’s Department of Health’s social-distancing protocols requires that stores restrict customers from bringing their own bags, mugs or other reusable items from home.
How the ban affects city's prohibition on plastic bags is not clear — the ordinance did not address that regulation. In 2007, San Francisco became the first major city in the nation to outlaw single-use plastic bags.
New York City adds 5-cent fee for paper bags after state bans plastic bags
New York City will impose a 5-cent fee for paper bags starting next March, part of an effort to reduce the city's solid waste. The nickle fee will accompany New York state's ban on plastic bags, and is aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.
The city's measure was approved following the state's ban on plastic bags, which was approved last month by the state's Democratic-controlled legislature. The ban, which covers most single-use plastic bags provided by supermarkets and other stores, will also go into effect in March 2020. California has also banned plastic bags, while Hawaii's counties ban plastic bags, although it's not a state-mandated ban.
If New Yorkers switch to reusable bags rather than turning to paper bags, it could reduce waste considerably, with the New York City Sanitation Department telling the New York Times that it collects about 30,000 tons of paper bags every year.