Should Cities Be Able To Ban Plastics?

carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

This seems like a controversial subject. My state's GOP-led legislature has superseded municipalities that wish to reduce plastic pollution by banning plastic bags and takeout containers. There are other places around the country which have already done so, but a number of states have made it impossible for local gov'ts to enact their own bans. The plastic bags manufacturers, et al. have lobbied against these bans successfully, and will continue to do so.

I live in a state surrounded by water and filled with many inland waterways as well. Plastic pollution is a big problem here There is no place untouched by it, it seems. Every place you go, you're pretty sure to find plastic waste littering the landscape.

Here's local news item:

https://www.floridaphoenix.com/blog/plastics-monster-haunts-capitol-to-call-for-waste-reduction/

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Demonstration going on now @ the state capitol:



A 'monster' of plastic litter stands outside Florida's historic capitol as Catherine Uden, Southeast Florida campaign organizer for Oceana, calls on lawmakers to reduce plastic waste that pollutes Florida waterways. Photo: Laura Cassels

"A 15-foot-tall monster made of thousands of pieces of plastic litter was in the Florida Capitol this week to illustrate how much plastic enters the oceans: more than 8 million metric tons (18 billion pounds) per year, according to the nonprofit Oceana....

...Though numerous Florida communities have tried to ban single-use plastics and polystyrene containers such as Styrofoam, state preemption legislation prevents them from doing so.

In fact, the Florida Retail Federation stands ready to sue municipalities that pass such bans. In 2016, the Federation sued the city of Coral Gables to strike down its bans on polystyrene and disposable plastic bags. The city won at trial but last year the Federation won on appeal, based on the appellate court finding that 2008 and 2016 statutes prohibit local governments from regulating the use or disposal of packaging, containers, disposable bags and polystyrene.

“This decision reinforces the legislature’s ability and authority to govern these issues on a statewide basis,” said Federation President and CEO R. Scott Shalley in a published statement about the ruling.

“This decision helps ensure Florida remains a business-friendly state by avoiding a patchwork of regulations by the more than 400 local governments. I also want to thank the Attorney General’s Office for their partnership and support in joining this successful lawsuit.”

Greenpeace is calling on legislators to repeal the preemptive legislation so that local governments can manage their own backyards and waterways as they see fit, but conservatives are expanding preemptions this session to prohibit local governments from banning items such as sunscreen ingredients that harm Florida’s coral reefs....""

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ohiomom

Ditto for Cuyahoga County, Ohio ... the county's ban is being challenged by our GOPs

https://www.wksu.org/post/plastic-bag-ban-goes-effect-across-cuyahoga-county#stream/0

I am so tired of picking up these single use grocer bags and pulling them out of trees.

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elvis

There's no question in the body of the OP, so I take it your question to us is in the OP title: Should Cities Be Able To Ban Plastics?

If that is so, please be more specific. "Plastic" what? Bags and take-out containers only? Or all plastic?

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socks(10a)

As much plastic as possible should be eliminated. There are cardboard take-out containers available, and some restaurants use them.

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lurker111

Should Cities Be Able To Ban Plastics?

Not unless the citizens vote for the ban.

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sheesh(5b)

Should cities be allowed to ban plastics? Yes.


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vgkg (Va Z-7)

My state's GOP-led legislature has superseded municipalities that wish to reduce plastic pollution by banning plastic bags and takeout containers.

The gop and fossil fuel industry (source of plastics) are tied at the hip, you hurt their profits and the political money train slows down.

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Joaniepoanie

No reason for not bringing reusable bags shopping. Now, sometimes I do forget them in the car and bring home the plastic bags, but they get bundled up and are taken back to the recycle bin at the store.

My son and DIL bring their own reusable containers to restaurants for leftovers and we are starting the practice too. There are collapsible containers that fit inside a purse easier.

We need to do what we can for the planet, so yes, I have no problem with laws to ban these types of plastic use.

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foodonastump

Not unless the citizens vote for the ban.

I’d imagine that local elected officials are implementing these bans?

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socks(10a)

I don't care who implements, just someone do something! The planet is being swamped in plastic waste. I want a planet for my kids and grandkids.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Are cities still allowed to ban alcohol?

I know that they could ban smoking in buildings before those laws went state-wide.

My city bans dancing in any establishment that has a liquor primary license.

As long as citizens still elect city councils to represent them (republic remember, NOT democracy?) then those councillors have the right to make these types of decisions without referendum imo. If your city implements such a ban or any other policy that you don’t like there is a remedy for that: gather support for candidates who believe as you do and vote out the ones you don’t agree with.

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ohiomom

"Not unless the citizens vote for the ban."

Trump bans

Congress bans

States ban

Counties ban

Cities ban

.....all without the the citizens voting for the ban.

2 cents


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

My state's GOP-led legislature has superseded municipalities that wish to reduce plastic pollution by banning plastic bags and takeout containers.


Municipalities led the ban on single-use plastic bags in California with the state following a number of years later in 2017.

*

Since China is no longer accepting our plastic to recycle, California is looking to have the manufacturers responsible for recycling plastic sold with their product. The state is also looking to phase out single-use plastics by 2030.

*

Trudeau Joins Europe, California in Banning Some Plastics
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-09/canada-is-set-to-announce-single-use-plastic-ban-monday-cbc

.

Justin Trudeau’s government announced plans Monday to ban single-use plastics such as straws and plates in Canada.

The ban would go into effect as early as 2021, the prime minister said at a press conference near Montreal. The government also plans new measures that would shift responsibility of recycling to companies that manufacture or sell plastic products.

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sheesh(5b)

What about all the plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner, dish detergent, clothes detergent, water bottles, ridiculous food packaging?


I bought a pumice stone for $2.99 yesterday. It was packaged in cardboard shrinkwrapped in hard plastic. When I managed to wrestle and cut off the outer wrapping, the stone itself was shrinkwrapped in more plastic! It was ridiculous!


We can and must do better than this. I now use shampoo bars and detergents that come in cardboard boxes. As Ladybird Johnson said, every litter bit helps.

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steve2416

Yes, they should and the State should back them up. California and Canada have always led the parade IMO. I'm in Cuenca, Ecuador right now for some dental touristry. These people are poor but very proud with good reason - every night the trash is placed outside, collected, streets and sidewalks are swept. Far more pristine in this 500 year old city than any large city in Florida or North Carolina. BTW, I smoked for 50 years so I'm very aware of the smell - Seen or smelled 7 in the week I've been here.

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socks(10a)

I agree, Sheesh. Most laundry detergent comes in plastic bottles, but cardboard boxes are available if you look. I use barely any plastic wrap, avoid plastic bags, try to reuse produce bags, but still plastic inserts itself into my life too much. Why on earth does new clothing have to have so many of those little t-shaped plastic pins???

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Walk the talk people

and demand that the manufacturers are responsible for the recycling of the plastic sold with their products.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

don't buy.

That doesn't solve the problem of the millions of other devices that are sold, and will eventually be superannuated.

Pack the landfills to overflowing? No!

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“I am pretty sure most devices, (probably the one you are on now) are made of plastic. I guess you should do your part and smash them and live plastic free. Walk the talk people; )”

We are back to “it’s all or nothing.”

It does NOT have to be all or nothing.

Some things, like phones and medical equipment, require plastics. There should be an end-of-life plan for them BEFORE they are produced.

Since plastics are absolutely required for some very necessary items, why not extremely limit or outright restrict their use in items for which they are not necessary? Shopping bags and pumice stones come to mind as perfect examples of products that do not require plastic.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

False choice -- we can ban more than one item such as tobacco and single-use plastics.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“...there are even worse things out there than plastic...”

such as?

Cigarette smoking is banned in most public places now. What an adult chooses to put into his/her body in private is his/her own responsibility and I include ALL substances in that statement.

Food—even fast food—salt, and sugar are nutrition and have a useful place in our society. Like everything else they must be used in moderation for optimal health. I think there is a place for government regulation in these areas. For example I support the restriction on adding salt and sugar to baby food. Again, consenting adults must choose how to care for their bodies as they see fit.

I can think of very few other products that are as pervasively problematic in the environment as plastic. From the drilling required to access the raw materials, to all the emissions created in producing the plastics and transporting them to market, to the fumes they give off in our homes, to the waste that is unmanageable at end-of-life.

And I can think of very few other products that we as a society are as reliant on that we could also easily live without. With the important exception of medical supplies I can’t actually think of any plastic product that couldn’t be replaced by something more eco-conscious (and oh how I hate to use that loaded term). ETA some vehicle parts are necessarily made of plastic too.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Incidentally, there are two substances that are infinitely recyclable, meaning they can be recycled forever and never lose their structural integrity: glass and aluminum.

Remember when most products were packaged in glass, aluminum, or cardboard/paper? I do. I’m almost 38 so it hasn’t been that long. What changed? Why is plastic so necessary now that we must fight for it tooth and nail and it must be wrapped around everything that is sold?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Queen I won’t take this thread off-topic by indulging in a debate about health care. I’ve expressed my opinion about that many, many times on relevant threads.

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sheesh(5b)

Miss lindsey, until the eighties we bought all our milk, soda and beer in returnable glass. That is no longer possible, and I don't know why! It really is not that difficult to take returnable bottles back to the store and get our deposits back. For those for whom it is too difficult, surely we can work out a way to reuse and re cycle all that glass instead of plastic. This planet is our only home.

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sheesh(5b)

Correct, Margo. And now is the time to change again.

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sheesh(5b)

Don't you think there is room for clear thinking, room for as many ways as it takes to get things to a point where we aren't actively killing our planet, Margo, at least more than we are doing? We can recycle and reuse and repurpose without being ridiculous. We can rethink things and apply new technology to old problems. I am not content to sit back and watch the planet and all of its inhabitants die because of defeatist all or nothing attitudes.

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sheesh(5b)

Well that's good! Your previous post about manufacturers picking up light bulbs worried me.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“ The manufacturers want to produce a product as cheap as they can to sell at a reasonable price to create volume sales.”

Bingo.

When it is less expensive to use glass, aluminum, and paper than to use plastic OR when consumers begin refusing plastic in real numbers manufacturers will use those alternatives.

We can use our big brains and wash glass bottles instead of churning out more plastic. Nothing *necessary to life* arrives in a plastic bottle (except maybe milk but that’s debatable lol).

I’m all for all levels of government helping that process along through bans, investment in recycling/reusing programs, and taxes levied against the use of superfluous plastic.

Let’s get real here, no one needs their pumice stone to be wrapped in three packages and those products can be rejected upon arrival at any port.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

Local government should have the right to enact a plastic ban, especially in places like Florida which do not have state taxes but things are paid for by property taxes. If Tampa wants to enact a ban and Fort Lauderdale doesn't, I don't see anything wrong with that.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Another key consideration is that shifting the emphasis to reusables, products that are truly recyclable (glass and aluminum) and therefore end in a more usable base material than recycled plastic, and compostable/recyclable/reusable paper or cloth (from wood, hemp, bamboo) is JOB CREATION.

Instead of struggling to find developing countries to dispose of our plastic for us, we can create good jobs for Americans (and Canadians) by processing this packaging at home.

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sheesh(5b)

Well that's good, too. I wonder, though, why one would prefer to present as less sane than one is. Is that "sane?"

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sheesh(5b)

Yes, Miss lindsey, yes! Somehow we got trapped into one way of thinking and can't seem to get away from it. I am thankful that all the millenials I know seem to be forward thinking. This is good!

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

queenmargo

just now

Perhaps you could spear head this project miss lindsey? This forum will not solve the issue.

———

queenmargo do you know what I do for a living, and what organizations I’m involved with?

I would say that we are definitely part of of the spear. Maybe not the head, but certainly part of the solution. I’m proud of that, but I can’t do everything.

What I can do, is state my values publicly (on this forum, and other venues) and express my ideas so that maybe others will begin to see the importance in what we (collective group of various players) are doing.

If what I believe doesn’t resonate with you I understand, not everyone will see things my way. But please do me the courtesy of not disparaging my efforts.

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sheesh(5b)

Whatever you do, Miss Lindsey, thank you for your clear thinking. We can all do our own small part to help. Even things we think are too small to matter, matter!

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sheesh(5b)

FWIW, I believe that opinions should be based in fact. When facts prove my opinions to be wrong, I prefer to read and reconsider my opinions so as not to be foolish, or not sane.

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sheesh(5b)

Yesterday, when I bought my pumice stone, I also bought a bar of shampoo. I was shocked to find exactly three bars of shampoo among the hundreds of bottles of shampoo and conditioner stacked from floor to head height in two and a half aisles of product. Want to know how much a bar of shampoo the size of a bar of Dial or Dove soap costs? $9.99! Nicely wrapped in paper, but...$9.99? The wrapper said the bar was good for as many shampoos as a bottle if used properly. I hope so. I haven't used it yet but am hoping for great results.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I am interested in how it works for you sheesh, will you report?

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ubro(2a)

Yup, our city just did. IMO since the city has to manage the waste disposal sites they have the right to ban. Certain items are not allowed in municipal dumps, plastic bags are just another one of those items.

I agree, Sheesh. Most laundry detergent comes in plastic bottles, but cardboard boxes are available if you look.

There is laundry soap that comes in sheets, tabs of toothpaste, and I now found a nice and sudsy bar of shampoo. Not all products work with well water, and I like my soap to have suds so I find that I can use some brands but not others.

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zmith

I’ve tried bar shampoo and did not like how my hair felt and looked; “wild” is the word I would use to describe it. Leave bottled shampoo alone, thank you. :)

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ubro(2a)

zmith, I had the same problem, I hated the bar shampoo. I did stumble upon one that amazingly worked in my water.

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zmith

Ubro, good to know there are some folks happy with it. To be truthful, the one I tried was an “artisan” shampoo I bought on Etsy.

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sheesh(5b)

I hope I have better luck with my bar shampoo, zmith! I too am fussy about my hair products.

I do my best not to buy or use plastic. I use my own reusable produce bags, reusable cloth bags for bagging, laundry powder in boxes, make my own yogurt to avoid all those cartons, have never bought a bottle of water because I use my washable aluminum bottle, do not accept straws in restaurants, buy whatever groceries I can in glass containers. I reuse jars and bottles rather than buy Tupperware or even glass products like Pyrex with plastic lids to store food in, and though I do use plastic wrap I use it as seldom as possible. I cook in cast iron and stainless steel instead of Teflon. And we wear clothing from natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, silk, wool, and linen, not polyester. We compost and recycle, and we live in a suburban city.

We have been doing these things as much as possinlee since 1968.

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sheesh(5b)

Thanks, ohiomom. I have never flagged either.

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ubro(2a)

Ubro, good to know there are some folks happy with it. To be truthful, the one I tried was an “artisan” shampoo I bought on Etsy.

The ones I hated were also "artisan" bought online, talk about hair like straw after using that product LOL.

This one I found was in a local grocery store with all the standard brands. I lost the box or I would look up the company.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Thanks for the replies, all 🙂

I personally do not see how it makes sense for a local community/city/town, etc. to vote for a single use plastics ban and then have it negated by the state legislature. The argument they used here seems specious: “This decision helps ensure Florida remains a business-friendly state by avoiding a patchwork of regulations by the more than 400 local governments.”

What about protecting our environment and keeping it clean?

Key West wants to protect the reefs by banning certain sunscreen ingredients proven harmful. The state GOP is against that as well. Our tourism industry is reliant on our natural environment, so why not protect & preserve it? Single use plastics are not accepted for recycling.

I see one person seems to be arguing repeatedly for doing nothing, or as little as possible.

Bans have become popular in many places, and are popular with many people. I believe it's seen as a threat to commerce & profit by some.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Some of my comments are gone but they were personal and off topic. The person with whom I was talking and I reached an amicable understanding so I don’t really mind that they’re gone but I didn’t delete them. I don’t know if all that even matters.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“I reuse jars and bottles rather than buy Tupperware...”

Re-usability is a major factor in my purchasing choices. For example, Hershey’s baking cocoa has a tight-fitting lid and washing instructions on the bottom of the can (top rack dishwasher safe) so that’s the brand I buy. Even though I don’t need as many as I end up with, the rest are diverted to recycling (and I know the rates are abysmal) and I want to signal with my purchasing choices that the company’s attention to the idea of “reuse” is important to me.

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sheesh(5b)

Exactly, Miss Lindsey. I hope companies will eventually understand things like this. Why not package everything like this? Oh, I know the reason, but I'm an optimist :-)

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elvis

We have a local coffee shop/lunch place that is very trendy and popular with the woke crowd. Recently they switched from using the ceramic dishes they had been using, to bowls and plates made from palm fronds which the thoughtful and comprehensive card on the table explained were from fronds found on the ground, not plucked from the trees. They said it saved energy because they were recyclable and no water was wasted washing them. Fine, what a nice idea.

So I have something to eat, and pick up the order for my co-worker, to take back to the office. It was in a styrofoam box. Styrofoam, the most ghastly and personally (by me) detested single-use product around. Major palm plant on forehead.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

elvis that is ridiculous! And a perfect example of “greenwashing.” Palm plant on forehead indeed! I would probably have raised a stink.

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