Going green has certainly changed. It used to be for tree huggers, and people who saved paper bags. I just hopped on the Sierra Club for San Diego and found this great newsletter. Might even be fun to connect with new people here. I live close to so many fun places outdoors, mountains, desert and ocean all within less than an hour drive.

Sierra Club in San Diego Newsletter

Plastic bag advocates spread fear over California’s proposed ban
By Jason Owens, SDNN

A new enemy has stepped into the corporate landscape, using age old tactics of spreading fear and ridiculousness in the name of profit at a price.

The plastic bag advocate.

While not as experienced or deceitful as past champions of corporate evil (see alliburton, sub-prime lenders), these pollutant pushers are showing promising aptitude in dealing misinformation to keep their destructive industry afloat. The American Chemistry Council is using a three-pronged effort to attack a proposed California plastic bag ban (proposed by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica,) that is gaining momentum in Sacramento.

Here’s how it works:
1) Spread bogus health fears.
2) Cite the negative job impact that would come from slowing
the pollutant from being produced.
3) Tout false claims of their product actually being
environmentally friendly.

The bill itself takes the stance that plastic grocery bags are a proven bane on the environment, with only 5 percent actually being recycled while most end up in landfills, on beaches and in the ocean, where they cost Californians $25 million annually to clean up.

While that $25 million figure is likely politically rigged, the fact that plastic bags are an environmental threat is apparent.

To combat the bill, the American Chemistry Council, which has prominent plastic bag manufacturers on its member roll, has funded a study propagating the “dangers” of reusing cloth shopping bags for grocery shopping.

Their conclusion (with the aid of the Loma Linda School of Public Health and University of Arizona): Since 95 percent of reusable bag users don’t wash their bags, the bags present a health risk. Maybe. (Use plastic bags instead!)

The basis of the conclusion is that when you buy meat and put it in your cloth bag, it can leak juices into your bag that can potentially produce health hazards.

Except, according to Loma Linda’s Ryan G. Sinclair, there has never been a documented case where someone has gotten food poisoning from cross-contamination via a reusable bag. But ignore that little fact. Infection may happen and it can happen to you (Use plastic bags!).

Reality: If you’re the person whose reusable bag is so filthy with meat juice that it makes you sick, then you’re a prime candidate for a Darwin Award. Along with their attack on cloth bags, the plastic bag advocates are leaning on the economy, noting that 500 plastic bag manufacturing jobs will be at risk if the bill passes.While the people working on the front lines of the plastic bag industry are surely hard working, decent people, that doesn’t outweigh the fact that what they’re producing is detrimental to the planet. The loss of 500 jobs is not a trump card. Try again.

But plastic bags are actually good for the environment, say the plastic bag advocates. Feel free to check out their statistics that point to the “positives” of plastic bags.What they won’t do, is point you to the actual havoc that plastic bags wreak on the environment.

So, Californians and assembleymembers, don’t buy into the thinly veiled hype. You’re smarter than that.

Join the California Grocers Association in supporting the rare political no-brainer of reducing plastic bag use.

Don’t be suckers to corporate manipulation.
Read more: http://www.sdnn.com/ then type in ‘plastic bags’ in search.

Floating Plastic Island

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