Watch ABC40 News Live!   (View)

Massachusetts Could Become First State to Ban Plastic Bags

photo(89) NORTHAMPTON/AMHERST Mass. (WGGB) —Northampton’s Waste Management Supervisor Karen Bouquillon says she constantly sees plastic bags getting caught up in trees and floating in the Connecticut River. She adds that it’s also an issue because they take hundreds of years to decompose. “I’m all about waste reduction, and the problem is, there are a lot of plastic bags that are used, i think it’s 1 1/2 million bags, 300 bags per person for a year, and we have a landfill here in Northampton, and it’s always striking to me how many bags get thrown away. It’s always a waste.”

On Monday the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee passed a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags at retail stores larger than 4,000 square feet.

It’s something that Jessica Tanner says would greatly benefit marine life. “Plastic is not biodegradable. It just becomes smaller and smaller particles of plastic which means marine animals are eating it and dying by the millions. Not only that, the phytoplankton in the oceans which actually produces half of the oxygen on this planet, at this time, the plastic actually outweighs the phytoplankton,” Tanner stated.

Whole Foods has already made the switch, and said they’ve found success since they decided to ditch plastic bags 5 years ago. “We didn’t really see the paper bags go up, we saw the reusable bags go up, and then it kind of plateaued, and that’s more successful for us because that means people are coming in and  they’re reusing the same bags over and over again, which is the ultimate goal,” said Jamie Rondeau, Marketing Team Leader at Hadley’s Whole Foods.

In the meantime, Bouquillion says that people can recycle their plastic bags at any supermarket. Yet, environmentalists say that doesn’t solve the problem, since they can only be recycled once.

Sen. Marc Pacheco (D)-Taunton says the house could vote on the bill as early as next week,

  • robn

    People screw ur cats. Figure out another way.
    Get rid off those plastic shopping bags.

  • jw20000

    When I hear the Bag Ban lobby comments about bags that last 1,000′s of years, Litter the countryside, and pollute the oceans, I am reminded of the typical TV courtroom drama. ‘Objection, those facts are not in evidence.’ All scientific Environmental Impact Statements report that 6 gram plastic grocery bags have the lowest impact to the environment. The latest is from the UK Environment Agency. It is titled ‘Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags’. Check it out. at environment-agency.gov.uk. IT was blocked from release to the pubic for years by Bag Banners who disagreed with the science that did not support their emotional feelings. Paper bags are the worst, even recycled bags contribute to green house gas emissions and deforestation. Reusable bags are made of PLASTIC fiber textiles. If you reuse the typical ‘free’ plastic grocery bag for household trash, or lunch bags, doggy bags, diaper bags, compost, etc, then you would need to use a Reusable bag over 300 cycles to break even on Environmental Impact. They don’t last that long. They require near slave labor to produce including Child labor according to reporters that visit the ‘factories’. Should we as a society contribute to crimes against humanity to feel good about our grocery bags? Bags that are largely made from WASTE natural gas, not oil as reported by Greenwashing advocates. PS. Bag Producers LOVE bag bans. They sell bags by the lb. When 6 gram bags are banned, a few months later, householders run out of their personal stash of bags under the Kitchen counter and have to purchase expensive 18 gram trash bags in cardboard boxes to replace them. Sales increase dramatically like they did in Ireland after their bag ban. Landfill Plastic tonnage increases as well. More Environmental Impact. The Law of Unintended Consequences.