Brian Dale Chicago: I'm interested in politics. And its a well-known idea that all politics is local. Not just here in Chicago, but every locale. So what I'm finding interesting lately with regard to environmental issues is the political diversity in terms of plastic bag bans.
As you know, at RunRunRun we follow closely developments in the reduction of disposable plastic bags. Some places have banned them. Some have taxed them. (For more read at the NYTimes.com) The method is not what I'm focused on today, but I am intrigued that so many DIFFERENT kinds of places are banning them and why.
The obvious one is the environmental harm that plastic bags cause. In Los Angeles alone 10 metric tons of plastic pollution ends up in the Pacific Ocean every day! (source: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/22-facts-plastic-pollution-10-things-can-do-about-it/)
There are many other facts that the pollution ends up in the ocean and thus hurts animals and our drinking water and air.
So its not a surprise to see liberal governments like Chicago, Malibu or Los Angeles pass a bag ban.
However, look at cities like Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Unlike Chicago, a notoriously politically conservative state, but looking to ban plastic bags. (source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20160104/NEWS/160109825) And in other countries that are politically conservative its happening too. Just look at China, India and Thailand. In Europe, Italy, Paris, Ireland and others have all made the switch. The U.S. is late to the party here.
Why? First, everyone agrees usually with the obvious environmental claims. But, there are other reasons.
One is that shop owners often get good feedback when customers are encouraged to use a reusable bag. Second, is many store owners offer their own logo bag that promotes their business and encourages more business. Third, the bags are stronger and hold more and make it easier to shop with.
There are many others, but the bottom line is that politicians on both sides of the aisle are seeing the benefits of using reusable bags and furthermore reusable products of all types.
So keep your eyes and ears open to other locations and WHY they are moving toward using reusable products. Its happening everywhere and with all kinds of people.
Founder of RunRunRun