Thursday, January 27, 2011

Berkeley's Plastic Bag Ban Still a Dream Deferred

By Rachel Swan
Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 5:20 PM

So much for the proscription on plastic bags, in Berkeley. Under apparent pressure from the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, city lawmakers have delayed the proposed ban until Alameda County completes an Environmental Impact Report on the environmental effects of plastic, the Daily Cal reports. Cities that instituted the ban without a full EIR were later sued by plastic bag enthusiasts — who might also be considered anti-paper-baggists. They cite the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires a well-rounded, well-researched report not only on plastic, but on the potential harms of paper, as well.

That said, plastic bags have been on the chopping block for a while, ban or no ban. San Francisco became the first city to nix them in 2007, and Whole Foods chain issued its own ban in 2008. While Berkeley progressives complain about the endless delays, many environmentalists still question the merits of paper over plastic. And so the battle continues.

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