The Chemistry Council
won another victory against the environment today, when the Dallas city council rejected a proposal to ban plastic bags altogether. The measure was aimed at reducing the impact that plastic has on the environment, seeing how it takes a couple of hundred years to decompose and all that. But apparently, Linda Koop, a city council member, believes that the mounting tones of plastic wastes that the city gets rid of every year in one-use bags alone are not worth a legislative initiative.
The only action she took for protecting the environment was to urge citizens not to consume more plastic than they need. Which is redundant really, if you consider the fact that no one likes running around with heaps of plastic bags just for the fun of it. However, the councilor's words were a replica of those uttered by a spokesman of American Plastics Council, in 2004, when he said "People need to stop littering." Of course, such a piece of advice goes a long way to reducing plastic emissions, especially with those people driving the largest SUVs ever built to the mall.
It's very unfortunate that the example the city of San Francisco set forth is not followed through by other similar initiatives. The city hall banned plastic, single-use bags for good, in an attempt to cut back on the plastic amounts it threw away each year. Other metropolises, such as Seattle, tried to implement a tax on these bags, but the Chemistry Council opposed the municipality and gathered enough votes to start a referendum. That only goes to show the lengths corporations would go to keep selling their environmentally-unsound products.
The same Council sent a letter to the Dallas city hall, saying that bans on plastic bags and other plastic products could adversely affect "the local environment, the economy and the school system." Environmentalists fail to see how having less plastic dumped at landfills affects the environment in a bad way. The economy could indeed be affected, but not that of the city, but that of the companies that formed this council themselves. And let's face it, recyclable paper bags could be used to transport food to schools, campuses and food banks for poor people. It doesn't have to take tones and tones of plastic bags each year to do this.