Comments

1
Why dont we just ban the dumping gargage into the ocean? Banning plastic bags kinda seems like arresting the john, but ignoring the pimp and prostitute.
2
good post.
my girlfriend works at a place that uses "compostable" plastic cups. anyone actually compost any of these yet? we are trying. i hope development of bio friendly plastic continues.
3
Thanks for the post. I think it finally sunk into my brain this time. I'm going to stop getting them at the grocery.

Any tips on what to use as a garbage bag in the kitchen trash can?
4
@1 storms don't care about bans. Storms only care about what you put on boats, not why.

Plus, if we banned plastic bags, vegetable-based "plastic" bags which decompose in compost could be used to pick up dog poop and put it in the yard waste instead of the trash trash.
5
@4 wait, we can now put our dog poop in the yard waste bin as long as it's in a biodegradable bag?

Good to know.
6
Hey @4 or anybody: do you know if compostable bags like BioBag bags breakdown in an animals stomach?
7
what a great post! thanks, yo.
8
@3 How about a garbage bag? Yes, yes, I know, now we'd just be purchasing plastic garbage bags instead of getting them for free. But have you ever noticed that people who save plastic grocery bags for use as garbage bags end up with way more plastic grocery bags than they need for garbage purposes? Those bags inevitably just end up back in the waste stream. I'm all for this. There is no compelling reason not to do it. Reusable bags are too easy and convenient.

9
@4, @5, DO NOT EVER LISTEN TO WILL IN SEATTLE. He couldn't make a true statement on any subject if his life depended on it.

No, you cannot put pet waste in your yard & food waste no matter what kind of bag or container it's in -- not even if you put it in there with your bare hands like Will likes to do.

Will is a complete and utter moron.

I'm curious about the statement by our guest blogger that the cleanup on Orcas was "including pieces of plastic bags". How many, exactly? Because based on my experience documenting plastic on Washington beaches bags make up about 0.01% of it or less. You realize we live in a state where it is customary for residents in beach communities to drive out onto the sand and change their oil, letting the dirty oil run out into the ocean and the many, many empty bottles of new oil, and their caps, pile up in the sea grass.

Probably the number one source of plastic along the coast is water bottles and their caps, but it also comes from tampon applicators, plastic rope, fishing line and lures, orange construction fencing, automobile dashboards, broken sunglasses, kid's toys, broken telephones, pens, picture frames, food containers, blister packaging, CD cases, guitar picks, utility tubs, and a hundred thousand other things, all of which get lost or tossed on the sand.

So, sure, go after plastic bags. You'll take care of 0.01% of the problem, just like that!
10
As a former don't-take-my-plastic-bags-you-enviro-fascists, I agree with @8, not to mention saving our wildlife. Also, not bringing home plastic bags really does circumvent kitchen clutter chaos.
11
@9 nails it. Absolutely we should do this, but there's a real danger if it makes anyone think we're really solving the problem of plastics.
12
I totally agree that we should ban plastic bags and I'm in full support of that.

Unless they try and ban paper bags too, in which case I'll vote it down again because that's retarded.
13
@9 there are health impacts to putting animal poop in any garbage.

I'm just saying from a biological perspective, poop will break down, whereas most plastics just degrade to teeny tiny bits of plastic - reminds me of early "compostable" plastic bags that were just plastic with perforations, that just broke down on exposure to sunlight to tiny squares of plastic - but still plastic that remained plastic.
14
@12 for the win.
15
@9 Fnarf, for the first time in a long time I was really in sinq with what you were saying and then... you finish up with typical Fnarf : Hey, you kids, what you are doing isn't going to do anything and get off my lawn!

More agreeingly RE: plastic bottles. My family is involved in almost daily spring/summer activities that are hot and away from home. We were going through 3 to 5 bottles of plastic-bottled water a day 4 months out of the year. I bought 5 stainless waterbottles on sale at Walgreens 2 years ago and can count on my hand the number of times I have bought bottled water since. I expected I would quickly lose the stainless bottles but that hasn't been a problem with bright colors and a name written in Sharpie. Now I am in the habit of filling water bottles whenever I am on my way to the car. It has cut down our soda drinks too whenever we snack or get food on the road.
16
@4 Storms only care about what you put on boats.

So if we dont ban plastic bags, mother nature will whip up a plastic bag tornado that drops them all into the ocean?
17
You guys that support the plastic bag ban, please put a sign in front of your house to that effect, so I know where to let my dog shit.

Because at $0.31 per bag (I just priced out Biobags), I have a feeling I'm going to let that happen a lot more often.
18
@17:

i currently pay for biobags for my composting. it is worth it - it takes me 2-3 days to fill the kitchen-countertop pail.

garbage-can sized biobags would be acceptable to me.

maybe biobags needs to start making dog poop size, too. what would you pay? 10c/bowel movement? 5c?

also, it is possible to recycle the plastic bags you don't put garbage or dog poop in. i do.
19
OK, I've managed to find them for about $0.12 each if I buy in (serious) bulk. But that's still over $100/year for something that currently costs me nothing.

I'd eat it (because kidding aside, I'm not THAT much of an asshole) but I'm not sure everyone else would. Is there a dogshit problem in cities that have already done this?
20
@18--your comment came through while I was typing my second one. They do make dog-sized bags (that's what I was looking at). And really, I'd consider $0.05 per bag pretty reasonable.

Currently, every single plastic bag that comes into our house (including bread wrappers and take out bags) is used to dispose of dog waste. We have a 60-pounder and no yard. That is how we recycle them.
21
Anyone know of a biodegradable garbage bag brand that actually works?? I bought a package of them (13 gallon size, IIRC; brand forgotten) a few months ago at the Ballard Market, and they were COMPLETELY useless.

The first one I carelessly tore off the roll ripped in half lengthwise. I thought, "OK, I have to be more careful tearing them off." Handled the next one more gently, and it also ripped while trying to unfold it. And the next one. Threw the rest of the roll away, since it was obvious that if you managed to baby the things into lining the garbage can, there was no way they would let you lift out the garbage. I suppose it would be acceptable to carry the whole can out to the hard waste container and tip it in, but if the product can barely even be removed from its package without damage, I'm NOT buying it.
22
I came here to troll but am too happy after read this:

"@4, @5, DO NOT EVER LISTEN TO WILL IN SEATTLE. He couldn't make a true statement on any subject if his life depended on it." -- great advice from @9, who is occasionally worth listening to.
23
I say we get rid of the whales if the can't stop eating plastic. They are the morons of the sea.
24
@21 the only bio bags i bought fucking are fucking worthless. im thinking maybe it was these particular kind, or maybe they need to figure that shit out, but they will. hoping it takes market share.

@17 and boo hoo if you have to now spend $100 / year on your dog shit. plastic bags may 'cost you nothing' but the fucking point is pollution costs everybody something. yes, being sustainable is more expensive right now, but fact is people are just too fucking lazy / cheap to make changes they otherwise are totally capable of. (yeah i still drive to work)
25
@24--I walk to work. I win.
26
@1 - head to the aquarium sometime. There is a space of water visible from the dock where the currents corral all kinds of trash that has been left on the streets that washes out to the sound, or gets blown there during wind storms. I see plastic bags flying around the streets on a regular basis as well as getting stuck in trees until the wind blows them away again.

Not dumping into the ocean would be great. Not littering plastic bags after you finish your OE or takeout should also be something people consider, but I don't trust most people to care that much.
27
Are people just not aware that plastic grocery bags can be recycled? All you have to do is bundle them together - take one bag and stuff it full of nothing but other clean plastic grocery bags, tie the handles together, and toss in the recycle bin. No problem!

Totally legal, been doing it for years, totally recyclable.
28
@25, then you can walk to your local dog park and nab a bunch while there. As a fellow dog owner I have to ask: why do you use the grocery bags? They're awful! Holes everywhere! Why not produce bags? Those won't be banned. I've never bought a poop-bag in my life because there are bags everywhere you look!
29
I absolutely believe in banning plastic bags and the reduction of plastic use, but I hate the way this editorial opened. There's nothing here that says the 20 plastic bags in the whale's stomach is the cause of death. Correlation does not imply causation.
30
"We use over 2 billion of these bags in Washington each year. 100 billion in the U.S. ". What kind of stat is this? 2 billion x 50 states = worst statistical analysis ever! lol
31
@28--when I say every plastic bag gets used, I mean it. About half are produce bags.

And if those aren't banned, then that'll be just one one more reason to buy veggies. :)
32
@29: Thanks. However, we do have a mechanism to go with it; whole plastic bags can easily cause impaction of the bowels in an animal that isn't equipped to feed on anything larger than an inch or two.
33
@13, you fungus-covered clump of damp dog excrement, the City of Seattle is the one that determines whether it's OK to put pet waste in the trash, and they say YES. They say NO to putting it in the Yard & Food.

If you had bothered to read the piece of paper that they sent you, or looked at the pictogram that came with it that was specifically designed with stupids like you in mind, you would have seen that PET WASTE GOES IN THE GARBAGE, NOT IN THE YARD & FOOD WASTE.

http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Yar…

The fact that you continue to argue this point without one scrap of knowledge or evidence, in the face of common knowledge and evidence against you, is just another bit of proof that you are the WORLD'S STUPIDEST HUMAN.
34
Plastic bags--- who needs 'em?

the ban down here in San Francisco has been a great success. It's great to see everyone toting reusable bags. everywhere.
35
@29 I, for one, didn't infer causation from this article. I thought the writer was just noting the travesty that a whale had 20 plastic bags in its stomach. Whether it was a direct cause of death was not stated (I assume intentionally), but one might confidently infer that plastic bags don't belong on the cetacean food pyramid.
36
The whale in question also had a golf ball and some sweatpants in his belly as well as the bags and other items. None of that was blamed for the whale's death.

About the compostable plastic being used around town these days, and the bio bags for food waste. These will not break down in your backyard compost pile. They require very high heat aerobic composting conditions, so they need to go in your yard waste and be sent to Cedar Grove to be composted. Interestingly enough, the city pays Cedar Grove to take the waste, and then charges again if we want compost from them. It's the only business I know of that makes money by acquiring raw material for a product. Good business model I suppose.

#34 The ban in San Francisco hasn't been a great success. It resulted in more plastic bag litter because it killed bag recycling, and it resulted in higher amounts of greenhouse gasses from paper production. Almost everyone switched to paper instead of using reusable bags.

Ireland has a bag tax... which reduced bag use 90%, but only reduced use of grocery checkout bags. Sales of packaged bags (that are generally thicker and larger) went up by 400%, and resulted in more plastic in the landfills. Not that plastic in landfills is much of a problem... it accounts for less than 1% of all landfill volume.

And for dog poop or trash can liners, if this ban goes through, we'll just have to buy them. And NO, you can't put dog poop in a bio bag and compost it. Bad dog!

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