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6.06.2013

SAILING THE ATLANTIC TO TRACK PLASTIC BAGS

photo from plasticbaglaws.org


On June 9th, 2013, Jennie Romer, founder of plasticbaglaws.org will set sail from Bermuda to Rhode Island to study single-use plastics in the Atlantic Ocean with the 5 Gyres Institute. As a lawyer that helps cities adopt plastic bag reduction laws, Ms. Romer believes that first-hand knowledge of how single-use plastics affect the ocean will help bolster her arguments.

Ms. Romer will blog about each day of her trip at plasticbaglaws.org.


Imagine chorus of people singing this song outside local supermarkets:



Want your local city or county in Florida to pass an ordinance banning plastic bags?  Can't do it.  Pursuant to section 403.7033, Florida Statutes, no state or local retail bag regulations can be enacted until the Florida Legislature takes action, limiting the 'home rule' common in Florida. However, a retail store can refuse to provide customers with plastic bags if it chooses.

Since local municipalities can't pass a plastic bag ban, Flagler College students are working with St. Augustine City Commissioners and local businesses to voluntarily eliminate plastic checkout bags citywide. The resolution was approved in March 2013.  More information here.  
Retail Bags Report For the Legislature
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, February 1, 2010 was produced as part of the Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 (Section 403.7033, Florida Statutes), under Governor Charlie Crist.  
The Report was to assess the need for new or different regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags used by consumers to carry products from retail establishments. 
The information contained within this report provides an assessment of the impacts associated with current use and disposal of these containers as well as several potential policy options to provide policymakers the information needed to weigh and balance the effect of proposed actions on the environment, regulated community and the consumer. 
The Report also noted that recycling rates for plastic bags in Florida is only around 12% 





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