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POLL Findings: Don't Ban Plastic Bags

More than 3 out of 4 voters in a Barrington Patch poll prefer to have a choice of paper, plastic or reusable bags.

More than three out of four voters in a recent Patch poll do not support a ban of plastic grocery and takeout bags in Barrington.

The Town Council plans to unveil an ordinance at its next meeting on Monday, Sept. 10, that proposes to ban the bags. A public hearing on the ordinance will then be held at the Town Council’s Oct. 1 meeting.

A Patch poll ran from Monday, Aug. 27 through Friday, Aug. 31. Thirty-seven readers voted. Voters could only vote once. Almost 80 percent of them said they do not support a ban.

The question was: Should Barrington ban plastic grocery bags?

The actual response was:

·  Yes, recycling still doesn't seem to be working -- 8 votes or 21 percent

·  No, I want a choice of paper or plastic or reusable bags -- 29 votes or 78 percent

Last week’s results are the second time since February that readers indicate they do not favor a ban – and the opposition seems to be growing.

A Patch poll in February accompanied the first story on the proposal for a bag ban by Conservation Commission member Joseph Roberts. That poll asked readers if Barrington should even consider such a ban.

Almost 54 percent of voters opposed the consideration of the idea. About 45 percent said the Barrington Town Council should consider a ban.

The Conservation Commission supports the ban because of concerns over the negative environmental impact of the bags. It is getting support from several environmental groups with the same concerns.

Opponents believe there is a better way to deal with the ubiquitious bags -- recycling them into other plastic products and mulch.

Shades of Gray September 05, 2012 at 04:32 PM
This is from a website: "reuseit.com" I had to cut some of it out due to character restriction. 1: Energy /natural resources: According to a 2007 study ,it takes almost 4 times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag than a plasic bag .Not only do both paper bags use far more fossil fuel in production and manufacturing, but they also use twenty times as much fresh water vs plastic bags. Additionally, most paper comes from tree pulp, so the impact of paper bag production on forests is enormous. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy; forests have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases. However, plastic bags use more fossil fuels and raw materials energy, and consume larger amounts of crude oil and natural gas than paper bags. 2: Pollution:The majority of kraft paper is made by heating wood chips under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. The use of these toxic chemicals contributes to both air pollution, such as acid rain, and water pollution. The same goes for plastic bags. 3: Recycling: Studies indicate it takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. 4: Degradability: Many people choose paper over plastic because they believe it will biodegrade faster than plastic will break down in a landfill. However, there are a number of factors that determine how quickly paper degrades.
Mike Cowan September 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
This plastic bag ban is seriously BS!!! I am totally against these plastic bag bans because I represent a bag manufacturer that has a SAFE biodegradable additive solution called D2W, which is added to the plastic when the bags are being manufactured, over a few months the bags biodegrade to a SAFE DUST, all it needs is OXYGEN! The other cities that have passed these bans are so foolish and have been brain washed by listening to environmentalists, that only show one-sided data and don’t offer any real solutions such as my biodegradable additive. The environmentalists are always complaining on the one-time use of these regular plastic bags, but if you took a poll, I guarantee that most people reuse these plastic bags in garbage baskets or to pick up dog poo. It blows my mind when government passes these type of laws during a POOR ECONOMY to hurt businesses. Unemployment is at an all-time high and this ban would only add to it. Also what about the thousands of dollars in sales tax that is generated from the plastic bag purchases by all of the large grocery stores, the city councilmen don’t even realize they are hurting their own budgets, they are nuts! If any type of law should be passed on these bags, make the grocery stores only buy plastic bags that are biodegradable, that solves the problem! More on D2W: http://www.degradable.net/products/d2w-plastics/ Food borne illness from the reusable non-woven bags: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv63IKnsj64&feature=youtu.be
Allison September 05, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Agree with an earlier post, Starbucks does not recycle at all! You should see how many plastic gallon milk containers they go through in a day! Not to mention cartons and to go cups??? How can you even consider a plastic bag ban with a straight face with all that plastic not being recycled by starbucks? Where is the conservation department on that issue? Makes it seem like some hidden agenda with the plastic bags. If it were out of concern for the environment the FIRST place you would look at would be Starbucks, come on people.
susancatherine September 09, 2012 at 01:55 AM
“Humans have a tendency to fall prey to the illusion that their economy is at the very center of the universe, forgetting that the biosphere is what ultimately sustains all systems, both man-made and natural. In this sense, ‘environmental issues’ are not about saving the planet—it will always survive and evolve with new combinations of atom—but about the prosperous development of our own species.” —Carl Folke is the science director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.
Lorraine F September 09, 2012 at 09:39 AM
People who "have" always love to lecture the "have nots" about the illusion of stuff. I still haven't heard a convincing argument on why we should ban plastic bags before we even try recycling at our own recycling center.

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