Prairie Village considers apropos initial in KC area to anathema cosmetic grocery bags

December 9, 2014 - garden totes

Around her neighborhood, they call former Kansas City councilwoman Joanne Collins “the picker upper.”

She loathes litter. Especially those cosmetic offered bags that nictitate from tree branches and adhere to cesspool grates.

“I leaped adult and got one off an shutter once,” pronounced Collins, a fervent environmentalist who says she’d acquire a anathema on a cosmetic bags that merchants palm out by a billions.

“Kansas City needs to do it.”

Several nations and scores of U.S. cities, including Chicago and Seattle, have finished usually that in new years. Next July, a statewide anathema takes outcome in California.

However, no bag restrictions are on a books hereabouts, notwithstanding some fake starts. As a result, shoppers lapse home with millions of single-use bags any year, ignoring many retailers’ offer to compensate a nickel for any reusable cloth bag brought into a store.

But that miss of movement could start to change in a months forward if bag restrictions benefit a foothold in Prairie Village.

Officials there are deliberation possibly to outlaw cosmetic grocery bags, or levy a price on both cosmetic and paper bags to inspire a use of reusable board totes.

The adults advisory cabinet investigate a emanate could also dump a idea, though for now that doesn’t seem likely.

“We are anticipating a lot of support,” sourroundings cabinet authority Ben Claypool said.

Should Prairie Village order bag restrictions, it would be a initial for Kansas and a metro area.

Roeland Park spent 3 years investigate a emanate though forsaken skeleton to pass an bidding in 2013, fearing a dear authorised battle. The cosmetic bag attention has spent millions perplexing to better bag bans in other tools of a country.

“It was flattering harmful after all a work we’d finished on it to have it come to a halt,” pronounced Roeland Park City Councilwoman Megan England.

Garden City, Kan., too, took adult and forsaken a issue, notwithstanding concerns from ranchers that their cattle get plugged adult from eating cosmetic bags held on blockade posts and spiny wire.

Missouri has no restrictions, either. A check introduced in a entire open in 2009 died in committee.

But this fall, Columbia began deliberation an bidding that would demarcate bags being given divided by anyone offered perishable food products, such as supermarkets and bonus stores that sell groceries.

“I wish to contend a chances of it flitting are unequivocally good,” pronounced Jan Dye, boss of a internal Sierra Club, that instituted a proposal. “But I’m usually not sure.”

And it will expected be months before she finds out.

Old question

Paper or plastic? That all-too-familiar doubt during a checkout opposite has been with us given a late 1960s, when a now ubiquitous, two-handled cosmetic offered bag came into being.

Over a indirect decades, merchants and shoppers comparison have come to cite cheaper cosmetic bags over brownish-red paper sacks. They also take adult rebate space and, according to some, are easier to tote.

Worldwide, a trillion single-use cosmetic bags are handed out any year. Some indicate out they are used some-more than once by people who line their rabble cans with them or collect adult pet waste.

But there is usually so many dog doo and used cat spawn to convey. Most cosmetic bags are wadded adult and tossed in a garbage, even a many fervent defenders of cosmetic bags concede.

That is notwithstanding a fact that, according to a cosmetic bag production industry, 90 percent of a American open has entrance to recycling options for cosmetic bags.

Depending on a community, a commission of bags recycled ranges from a singular digits to a midst teens. Before a anathema in Seattle, for instance, usually 13 percent of a 292 million bags handed out to shoppers annually were recycled.

“Americans use on normal scarcely one cosmetic bag any day,” says a left-leaning Earth Policy Institute, “taking something finished from hoary fuels shaped over millions of years and generally regulating it for tiny mins before throwing it away.”

In further to stuffing adult landfills and being a source of litter, a bags all too mostly find their approach from assign sewers to a sea where sea turtles mistake them for juicy preserve fish.

Bag restrictions began to cocktail adult in a early 2000s here and abroad. Within a year of commanding a bag price in 2002, Ireland saw a pointy boost in a series of people switching to reusables.

San Francisco, in 2007, became a initial vital U.S. city to trigger a anathema on cosmetic grocery bags. Now a anathema relates to probably all sell uses.

In addition, merchants there are compulsory to assign 10 cents for other bags they palm out, such as cosmetic bags that are approved compostable (most cosmetic bags aren’t), bags finished out of recycled paper and reusable bags designed for during slightest 125 uses and are washable.

Many other cities on a West Coast have adopted identical restrictions given then. Elsewhere, several states and internal governments have taken stairs brief of undisguised bans directed during shortening cosmetic bag use, or are deliberation them.

Most notably, a District of Columbia saw a 60 percent rebate in consumers’ use of cosmetic bags after a 5-cent price was imposed in 2010. Up to two-thirds of a income collected goes to a merchants, and a rest goes to a watershed cleanup fund.

Kansas City domestic consultant Marcus Leach had something identical in mind this year when he began creation skeleton for a probable list emanate here.

It, too, would have called for a 5-cent assign for any disposable bag, with a deduction going for area painting or to support curbside recycling.

“Unfortunately, a polling came behind and pronounced Kansas City is not prepared for it yet,” Leach said. Percentage-wise, support “came behind in a low 40s.”

Low priority

While bearing possibly a bag taxation or an undisguised ban, internal environmental groups haven’t finished it a concentration of their efforts.

Bridging a Gap, that operates recycling centers and heads a Keep Kansas City Beautiful anti-litter campaign, has a hands full with a lot of other issues, executive executive Kristin Riott says.

Same goes for Vicki Richmond during a Healthy Rivers Partnership, who says cosmetic bags are a vital source of spawn in and along area streams. Yet even she infrequently forgets and leaves her cloth bags in a automobile when she goes into a store.

“But we find what they’re doing in Prairie Village exciting,” she said.

So distant they haven’t finished much, though they’re operative on it. Last week, a environmental cabinet began sourroundings adult appointments with retailers for subsequent month to get their opinions.

Chances are, they won’t be positive.

“No one likes to have spawn around,” says Jon McCormick, boss of a Retail Grocers Association of Greater Kansas City. But he says there are some-more dire environmental issues that need addressing.

“We would be against to banning plastic,” he said.

Likewise, a ban-the-bag bid in Columbia is confronting opposition.

In an op-ed published in The Columbia Tribune final week, a boss of a Missouri Retailers Association pronounced a anathema would take divided consumer choices, be a weight on business and not be that large of a bonus to a environment.

“Their CO footprint is reduce than other bags,” wrote David Overfelt, “they need rebate H2O to make and those that do finish adult in landfills have mostly been reused as rubbish bags and take adult significantly rebate space than other bag options.”

The industry-supported American Progressive Bag Alliance says people should be giveaway to make their possess choices. Imposing fees on paper or plastic, a organisation say, is an astray taxation on consumers.

“It’s a fraud that will take billions of dollars from California taxpayers to line a pockets of grocers,” fondness authority Mark Daniels told a Los Angeles Times in a prepared matter as a organisation mounts a petition expostulate to dissolution a law in that state.

The attention also supports assertive open family campaigns to conflict bans.

Whatever instruction Prairie Village and Columbia decide, it’s been proven that banning cosmetic bags alone won’t change people’s habits.

Only a tiny commission of shoppers in Santa Fe, N.M., switched to reusable bags when that city’s cosmetic bag anathema went into outcome scarcely a year ago. The reason for that, a investigate concluded, is that a 10-cent price for paper sacks was cut before final passage.

“Without any disincentive to use paper bags, a efficacy of a bidding is clearly compromised,” it said.

Where bag bans have worked best, a price on paper sacks has been imposed.

For now in Kansas City, cosmetic bags sojourn a go-to vehicle for schlepping groceries — during slightest judging by a trade entrance out of a Price Chopper in Brookside a other morning,

Only one out of 10 shoppers gripped a reusable cloth bag. More common were guys like Jim LeCluyse, whose offered transport was brimful with a dozen white, cosmetic bags.

Normally he uses cloth bags, indicating to a nest of them on a building of his minivan. But he also has pets and felt a need to batch adult on cosmetic bags.

“I consider it’s a good thing,” he pronounced of a bag bans some places have in effect. “But what would we do about my cat spawn box and cleaning adult after a dog?”

In places where a bans have passed, environmentalists say, somehow pet owners get by.

To strech Mike Hendricks, call 816-234-4738, or send email to

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