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My Thoughts: Austin’s Plastic Bag Ban

BAD IDEA.  I’m all for being less disposable (I did my thesis on it) but I think we can’t just go from one extreme to the other.  Plastic bags are definitely an environmental problem, but that is because people are not responsible when disposing of them.  
Side note: Paper bags are also included in this ban and those are picked up through curbside recycling - so why are they also being banned?

Austin does have a facility (HDI Plastics) capable of recycling plastic bags.  The problem is that bags have to be taken to that facility by individuals because they cannot be collected through curbside pickup on recycle days.  Although, Bob Gregory, CEO and President of the Texas Disposal Systems,  ”has proposed adding plastic bags to Austin’s curbside collection program.”

In essence, I agree with Bob Gregory (read his email in the link below) in that there should be a compromise instead of a complete ban on the things that are used so much in our daily lives.  Plastic bags have the ability to be recycled and turned into a lot of other items - all it takes is for people to be more responsible about recycling.  In addition to being responsible there needs to be a demand for recycling facilities that can handle a larger variety of materials.

Here’s some more reading:

Statesman: Austin Passes Bag Ban

E-mail from TDS Ceo and President, Bob Gregory to Mayor and Austin Council Members 

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