BIG BAG THEORY LOS ANGELES

  • CORAL GABLES | Plastic bag use in stores could soon be a thing of the past in Coral Gables after the city commission on Tuesday gave initial approval to an ordinance banning the products.

    The measure will require a second vote to become law, which will likely come at the March 28 meeting. The action sets the city up to be the first municipality in Florida to ban plastic bag use.

    Although the proposal drew a crowd of supporters, it also had some opponents — or at least people who asked the commission to delay action.

    Big Bag Theory Bags

    The ordinance will prohibit plastic bag use by retailers in Coral Gables and at city special events. The ordinance does provide for exceptions including: plastic bags that the shopper provides, plastic bags without handles, bags used to hold prescription medicines at a pharmacy or veterinarian’s office, dry cleaning bags, pet waste bags, yard waste or trash bags and newspaper bags.

    Violators would be warned first, but then could be fined, starting at $50 and increasing to $500 after a third violation in a one-year period.

    The item also encourages businesses to promote the use of reusable bags and gives retailers the option to provide reusable or paper bags for a fee of at least 10 cents.

    Supporters and members of environmental groups, including the Surfrider Foundation, Debris Free Oceans and Miami Waterkeeper, packed the commission chambers to voice their support.

    “I’m really excited that you guys are taking this on, it’s like a dream come true,” said Michael DeFilippi, an activist who organizes cleanups and advocated for the Styrofoam ban in Miami Beach. “What you’re doing here is going to have an influence around the state of Florida.”

    One of the attendees, Mike Gibaldi, came dressed as a “bag monster,” wearing an outfit covered in plastic bags.

    The ban follows a court ruling upholding the city’s Styrofoam ban in a lawsuit brought by the Florida Retail Federation. The federation sued the city last July on behalf of its members including Super Progreso, a company that owns a 7-Eleven franchise in the Gables, after the commission gave final approval to the ban in February 2016. The federation has appealed the judge’s decision to the Third District Court of Appeal.

    Josie Correa, regional director of the federation’s Miami office, said that the city should hold off on the plastic bag ban until the lawsuit over the Styrofoam ban is fully resolved.

    “This is an important issue that deserves full and complete vetting,” Correa said before the vote. “To rush through it would be a disservice to the local business community.”

    As with the Styrofoam ban, city leaders met with members of the chamber of commerce and business improvement district to discuss a ban on plastic bags.

    Chamber president Mark Trowbridge said that, unlike with the Styrofoam ban, some business owners have expressed hesitation or concern about the plastic-bag ban. The city said it will be sure to schedule additional meetings with those businesses, particularly the merchants along Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue, and will provide a list of paper and alternative bag manufacturers.

    “We have a great business climate and I’d never want there to be anything that would take away from that,” Trowbridge said.

    The ordinance also sets up a six-month window, after final adoption, before any fines would be levied.

    “We have to be more conscious of the environment,” said Commissioner Vince Lago, who sponsored the item. “I feel that we can co-exist and I think the business community can adapt.”

    Palm Beach County, Jacksonville Beach and other cities have sponsored resolutions in support of plastic bag bans and officials including state Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, have sponsored legislation calling for a ban in select areas of the state.

    Plastic bags were banned across California last year, and other cities including Seattle and Austin, Texas, have also prohibited their use.

     

    BUY YOUR BIG BAG THEORY BAGS HERE

    ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE.

    View Post

  • Two years ago, libertarian-minded lawmakers convening at the Capitol were gunning to take down bag bans enacted in cities such as Austin.

    Now, after several sessions of foundering legislation, they’re hoping for relief from the courts.

    At a session of a downtown Austin public policy conference on Thursday titled “The Californiazation of Texas: Plastic Bag Bans,” one of those lawmakers, state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, suggested a possible Texas Supreme Court case might provide the clearest chance for opponents of city bag bans.

    The title of the session hosted by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation appeared inspired by a speech then-Gov.-elect Greg Abbott gave at the same policy confab in 2015.

    “Texas is being Californianized and you may not even be noticing it,” Abbott had said. “It’s being done at the city level with bag bans, fracking bans, tree-cutting bans. We’re forming a patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that is eroding the Texas model.”

    The Legislature two years ago quashed a decision by Denton voters to ban fracking within their city limits, but failed to roll back bag bans.

    The bans on single-use bags were aimed at curbing litter and driven by other environmental concerns. Conservatives, with the support of the bag industry, have argued the Legislature must step in to eliminate the prohibitions as an affront to individual and economic liberty.

    Lawmakers uncomfortable with wading into issues involving local government helped thwart the bills; they were assisted last session by an odd-bedfellows group calling itself Local Control Texas, which was composed of Central Texas environmentalists, workers rights groups and Republicans from rural areas and small cities.

    But in August a state appeals court tossed out Laredo’s ban on store-provided checkout bags. The ruling, by a San Antonio-based court, applied to the 32 South Texas counties in the court’s district, but it has no immediate impact on similar bans outside the district, including Austin and Sunset Valley.

    But all sides have appealed the ruling to the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, hoping for broader clarity.

    “We’re looking for the Supreme Court to see it repealed once and for all,” said Springer, who failed to get a floor vote on his measure in 2013.

    In its ruling, the 4th Court of Appeals said Laredo’s bag ban was pre-empted by a state law that says cities cannot “prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package.”

    Store-provided bags, the court ruled, are containers under the law.

    New legislation

    Still, lawmakers will make another run at the measure.

    State Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, who won election as part of a tea party wave in 2014, has filed Senate Bill 103, which authorizes a business to provide a bag “made from any material” at the point of sale. The measure would also bar a city from adopting or enforcing a regulation “that purports to restrict or prohibit a business from, require a business to charge a customer for, or tax or impose penalties on a business for providing to a customer at the point of sale a bag or other container made from any material.”

    Similar Senate measures in 2015 — by Hall and state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls — never gained traction. But those Senate bills were not filed until March, relatively late.

    In a sign of little interest from House leadership in 2015, a measure filed in the House authored by state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, never got a committee hearing, a key step in moving a bill forward.

    Altogether, at least a dozen Texas cities have enacted some sort of bag ban or implemented a bag fee.

    Austin’s bag ban, implemented in 2013, is designed to cut down litter and the amount of waste sent to area landfills. The ordinance doesn’t expressly impose a bag fee, though some retailers charge customers for bags.

    A 2015 city-commissioned study declared that Austinites use nearly 200 million fewer plastic bags annually than they did before a plastic bag ban.

    No retailers have been given penalties or fines, Austin Resource Recovery spokeswoman Emlea Chanslor said.

    Among Austin’s legislative priorities heading into this session is to “protect Austin residents’ right to govern themselves and work with their city government to adopt and enforce ordinances that address the health, safety and public welfare of the community” including the city’s rules on single-use bags, according to language adopted by the City Council in October.

    Austin’s bag ban has survived a series of legal challenges.

    The Texas Retailers Association, for example, backed out of a lawsuit against Austin’s ban.

    The City Council of Texas?

    The battle has been joined on other fronts.

    In October, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the city of Brownsville, which ordered an environmental fee of $1 per transaction when plastic bags are provided to shoppers.

    Paxton argued the fee is an illegal sales tax and should be banned.

    The move against Brownsville “is part of a very disturbing trend by state officials to take away the ability of Texans to decide at the local level what is best for their community and their neighborhood,” Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League, which represents cities, said at the time.

    At the policy conference Thursday, Muenster said the bag issue “was not the most pressing” at the Legislature, though he claimed it would carry by roughly 60 percent if it ever reached the House floor.

    “Is the state Legislature going to become the City Council of Texas?” asked Robin Schneider of Texas Campaign for the Environment, which supports bag bans like Austin’s.

    But Phil Rozenski, an officer at Novolex, which manufactures plastic bags and packaging material, said it amounts to “regulation at any cost.”

    He found sympathy in the audience.

    “I’m tired of the micromanaging,” said Terri Hall, who advocates for conservative causes. “Speaking as a mom and as a consumer,” she said, plastic bags were convenient for handling things like dirty clothes.

    The Texas Supreme Court could agree to hear an appeal on the Laredo ruling the first half of this year.

    In a sign of little interest from House leadership in 2015, a measure filed in the House authored by state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, never got a committee hearing, a key step in moving a bill forward.

    Altogether, at least a dozen Texas cities have enacted some sort of bag ban or implemented a bag fee.

    Austin’s bag ban, implemented in 2013, is designed to cut down litter and the amount of waste sent to area landfills. The ordinance doesn’t expressly impose a bag fee, though some retailers charge customers for bags.

    A 2015 city-commissioned study declared that Austinites use nearly 200 million fewer plastic bags annually than they did before a plastic bag ban.

    No retailers have been given penalties or fines, Austin Resource Recovery spokeswoman Emlea Chanslor said.

    Among Austin’s legislative priorities heading into this session is to “protect Austin residents’ right to govern themselves and work with their city government to adopt and enforce ordinances that address the health, safety and public welfare of the community” including the city’s rules on single-use bags, according to language adopted by the City Council in October.

    Austin’s bag ban has survived a series of legal challenges.

    The Texas Retailers Association, for example, backed out of a lawsuit against Austin’s ban.

    The City Council of Texas?

    The battle has been joined on other fronts.

    In October, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the city of Brownsville, which ordered an environmental fee of $1 per transaction when plastic bags are provided to shoppers.

    Paxton argued the fee is an illegal sales tax and should be banned.

    The move against Brownsville “is part of a very disturbing trend by state officials to take away the ability of Texans to decide at the local level what is best for their community and their neighborhood,” Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League, which represents cities, said at the time.

    At the policy conference Thursday, Muenster said the bag issue “was not the most pressing” at the Legislature, though he claimed it would carry by roughly 60 percent if it ever reached the House floor.

    “Is the state Legislature going to become the City Council of Texas?” asked Robin Schneider of Texas Campaign for the Environment, which supports bag bans like Austin’s.

    But Phil Rozenski, an officer at Novolex, which manufactures plastic bags and packaging material, said it amounts to “regulation at any cost.”

    He found sympathy in the audience.

    “I’m tired of the micromanaging,” said Terri Hall, who advocates for conservative causes. “Speaking as a mom and as a consumer,” she said, plastic bags were convenient for handling things like dirty clothes.

    The Texas Supreme Court could agree to hear an appeal on the Laredo ruling the first half of this year.

    By your reusable folding bag at www.bigbagtheory.com. 

    Originally Published here

    View Post

  • Estonia to Ban Free Plastic Bags

    Citing a EU directive, the Estonian Ministry of Environment wishes to ban free lightweight plastic bags in stores from July 2017 and to raise the price of plastic carrier bags available in stores to up to one euro apiece from 2019, write LETA/BNS.

    View Post

  •  

    Starting a year from Tuesday, Tacomans won’t be able to get thin, single-use plastic bags at the grocery store or at other places they shop in the city.

    The Tacoma City Council voted, 8-1, on Tuesday night to ban the plastic bags after hours of discussion and after a substitute ordinance that would have charged a five-cent fee for paper and plastic was brought before the group and then shot down.

    Only Councilman Joe Lonergan voted against the ban of thin plastic bags less than 2.25 millimeters thick, but pieces of the substitute amendment he brought forward – including an exemption for traveling shows and events at the Tacoma Dome and convention center – survived and were added to the final ordinance.

    The law will require retailers to charge at least a five-cent fee for paper bags and other carryout bags, and that fee will be kept by the retailer. Lonergan’s proposal would have sent that fee back to the city to help pay for recycling programs and for implementing the proposal.

    “I will be voting against this ordinance not because of what it’s doing or what it’s not doing around plastic bags, but because of the precedent it sets,” Lonergan said shortly before the final vote. “It has government charging a fee that it then allows someone else to keep for something, in this case, paper bags.”

    Lonergan’s proposal to charge a fee for plastic and paper had support from Councilman Conor McCarthy and Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who ultimately voted in favor of the ban.

    “I think we share the same goal of wanting to reduce the number of plastic bags we all use,” Strickland said after the substitute was voted down and before the final vote on the bag ban. “Let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good.”


    Buy your Big Bag Theory Reusable Bags here. 
    Originally published here

    View Post

  • Cebu, Philippines - Mandaue wet market buyers urged to bring own eco-bags Big Bag Theory

    Vendors in the Mandaue City public market are encouraging their customers to bring their own eco-bags when they buy their goods and supplies especially fish and vegetables there.

    The vendors gave this advice amid the strict implementation of Mandaue City government’s ban on plastic bags and styrofoam starting Monday, July 11.
    Belen Bacarisa, a 53-year-old fish vendor and a resident of Barangay Tribunal, Mandaue City who has been selling fish for 40 years, said it would be difficult not to use plastic bags in selling fish.

    “It is very difficult if we do not use plastic bags especially for the fish. It is better that customers would bring their own bags,” said Bacarisa who claimed to have been a plastic vendor, too, when she was 7 years old.

    In an attempt to mitigate flood problems in the area, Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing recently announced that he would implement a 2010 ordinance banning retail establishments from using and distributing disposable plastic bags and styrofoam starting Monday.

    Instead, they would be required to use paper or other reusable types of bags, he said.

    Bacarisa admitted that she is already aware that the city will start implementing the plastic ban ordinance, but she did not know that it will start today.

    She said that it would be difficult for them not to use plastic bags because of the products they sell.

    She said that she would use 100 plastic bags in selling fish in a single day.

    Ordinance No. 12-2010-562 states that the indiscriminate throwing of plastic and styrofoam in public places has largely contributed to the city’s clogged drainage system, resulting to flooding.

    All stores, shops, eating places, food vendors, carenderias and sari-sari stores within the jurisdiction of Mandaue City are covered by the ordinance.

    “Any violation of the requirements set forth in the ordinance shall subject the owner/s of stores, shops, eating places, food vendors and retail food vendors, sari-sari stories or carenderias with a fine of not more than five days or both, such fine and imprisonment to the discretion of the court,” the ordinance said.

    “The local government should instead regulate those who sell these plastic bags,” Bacarisa added.

    She, however, said that she would still use the remaining plastic bags that she had.

    Fish buyer

    Pantaleon Ouano, 72 years old and a resident of Banilad, Mandaue, bought two kilos of fish yesterday at the Mandaue public market.

    Two plastic bags were used for the fish he bought.

    Ouano recalled that long ago, they would place the fish in “buli” (a string of buri).

    “In the past, we would string them in a buri thread but it would be difficult now because the fish would drip in the car,” Ouano said.

    Although he is not against the implementation of the ordinance, Ouano said that there are times when one cannot bring his or her own bag.

    “We cannot bring our own bags to place the fish at all times. There are times when we cannot bring them like when you attend Mass before buying fish,” Ouano said. Big Bag Theory Bags fold up small enough to fit inside your handbag!

     

    BIG BAG THEORY -Mandaue wet market buyers urged to bring own eco-bags Big Bag Theory


    Vegetable vendor Alvin Cortes said he was against the implementation of the plastic ban ordinance.

    He said using a paper bag for his vegetables would be difficult for his customers, especially if the customers would buy plenty of vegetables.
    He said the paper bags would not be strong enough to hold them. (Big Bag Theory Bags hold up to 35 lbs.)

    Cortes, instead, called on customers and vendors alike to learn to discipline themselves in disposing their plastic bags.

    “It would all depend on the person how they would dispose their plastic bags. It would be better if they would just reuse these plastic bags in their next trip to the public market,” he said.

    Joy Taneo, a customer who bought hotdogs and longanisa yesterday, was seen bringing her own eco-bag at the Mandaue public market.

    Taneo said that it has already been her practice to bring reusable bags every time she goes to the market.

    Taneo said that consumers should learn to discipline themselves, bring their own reusable bags to stores and dispose their garbage properly because garbage that are not properly disposed are the root cause of flood.

    Buy your Big Bag Theory Folding Eco Bag at www.bigbagtheory.com

    Originally published here.

    View Post

  • Morocco’s ban on plastic bags

    Morocco’s new ban on plastic bags has led to a nationwide scramble to stock up, especially among street sellers and shop owners.

    As reported by Morocco World News, street sellers and shop owners started to stock-up on plastic bags last week, ahead of the recent legislation that currently bans the importing, selling, and production of plastic bags in the kingdom.

    Morocco is currently the second largest plastic bag consumer after the United States, according to data compiled by the Moroccan industry ministry.

    The significance of Morocco’s large consumption of plastic bags is due to the fact that it’s much smaller in size than the United States, or any of the other countries that follow behind it on the list of the largest plastic bag consumers in the world.

    As for the new ban, it’s been in the works for several years. The Moroccan Parliament urged a ban on black plastic bags to reduce the amount of litter on Morocco’s streets and beaches in 2009. But the ban in 2009 was only partially successful because authorities weren’t fully able to curtail the production of plastic bags.

    According to Al Jazeera, Morocco ranks among one of the greenest countries in the world, alongside Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Bhutan, which may be due to the kingdom’s crackdown on carbon emissions, along with its ambition to be more environmentally conscious.

    Al Jazeera also noted that the bill, which became law on July 1, is part of a larger environmentally conscious effort across the North African country to go green.

     

    Buy your Big Bag Theory Reusable tote bag here.

     

    Originally published here.

    View Post