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RE: [greenyes] "Say NO to Plastic Bags!" Campaign for ARD, Nov. 15


Ms. Feldman,

I appreciate your sharing your plans with the broader Zero Waste movement and in turn I also appreciated Ms. MacBride's response.

I think Ms. MacBride makes very valid points, though I don't necessarily have a penchant for supporting studies the way some in government do - Ms. MacBride should perhaps be excused as she is wrapping up the oversight of the largest waste characterization study ever undertaken. The study was contracted by the City of New York with R.W. Beck and included random sampling in a cross-section of economically situated communities as well as housing densities - the Department of Sanitation of New York (DSNY) was kind enough to invite a number of advocates out to observe the process during their final week of the fourth season.

Although I could digress, I'll go back to the topic at hand. It may make more sense to in fact utilize the distribution as part of a campaign for the elimination of the disposable film plastic bags, or rather to focus on either banning their use or creating a sizable tax to discourage their usage. I understand a similar tax in Ireland (equivalent to about 15 cents per bag) virtually wiped out the usage of these bags. If the idea is in fact to prevent the waste from entering the stream of consumption, then Ms. MacBride's suggested study may not be necessary. Soon DSNY will be providing the world with the data sets that show just how much is being wasted of what particular items - perhaps you should inquire of her what type of volumes they've found in the NYC waste stream and extrapolate for your own community. While NYC is not allowed to create taxes like the one I've proposed for you, NYS is - unfortunately while DSNY's study may provide the information, NYC seems less than
likely to propose or even lobby in favor of such legislation - DSNY chooses to distance themselves from weighing into policy arenas where they may be intimately involved and could serve as a valuable support for Zero Waste. It's this type of government thinking that San Francisco's Mayor has moved forward for the good of his community, I just wish we could see the same kind of support here in NYC. But we're happy for the data in the meantime.

For more ideas on waste prevention I encourage you to check out information found at the NYC Waste Prevention Coalition's website www.whywastenyc.org or look for NYC Zero Waste Campaign's plan Reaching for Zero which can be found/downloaded at - www.consumersunion.org/other/zero-waste/ (note this is in html on the web to encourage readers to borrow/utilize/plagiarize in the name of Zero Waste)

-Timothy J.W. Logan
Lead Organizer, NYC Zero Waste Campaign (title for identification purposes)

To: "'Heidi Feldman'" <hfeldman@no.address>, <crra_members@no.address>,
<greenyes@no.address>, <zerowaste_sd@no.address>
From: "Samantha MacBride" <smacbride.nycrecycles@no.address>
Subject: RE: [greenyes] "Say NO to Plastic Bags!" Campaign for ARD, Nov. 15

On this subject, I wonder if any research has been done:

* On the environmental impacts of producing, distributing, and ultimately disposing of recycled cotton or poly bags that say "NO" to plastic bags

* On the usage rates of such bags and whether they substitute for, and thereby decrease the usage of, plastic bags; or whether they constitute a second, new category of consumer products coexisting with what they were supposed to supplant.

Of course the argument can be made that recycled durable bags are great educational tools in conjunction with plastic bag recycling programs; but, given that various forms of such bags have been distributed for years, do we actually know whether they have the impacts they are assumed to have?

Pointers to research in this area would be of great interest.

Thank you.

Samantha MacBride
Senior Policy Analyst
Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling
New York City Department of Sanitation
_____
From: Heidi Feldman [mailto:hfeldman@no.address]
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:50 PM
To: crra_members@no.address; greenyes@no.address;
zerowaste_sd@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] "Say NO to Plastic Bags!" Campaign for ARD, Nov. 15

Dear Friends,

The Monterey County "3R" Committee has decided to begin a countywide "Say NO to Plastic Bags!" publicity campaign to be kicked off on America Recycles Day (Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005). We have identified plastic bags as a major environmental issue in our area and will focus on this during the coming months. Plastic bags pollute the environment, litter the landscape, and present operational problems in our recycling plants. When Santa Cruz
County staff told us yesterday that they want to join our campaign, we thought why not make this a greater effort with more communities participating? The time frame would still work if you decide to be part of this campaign. We feel that while there are many good efforts under way in this State and elsewhere to recycle plastic bags, we have to stress that "Reduce and Reuse" come first-then we can recycle the rest! Having more of you join us will increase the impact of the campaign, perhaps on a national level.

Following are the major components of our publicity campaign strategy:

* Order recycled cotton or poly bags with imprint ("Say NO to Plastic Bags;" sponsoring agencies; and graphic of bag with slash, see attached gif graphic). We may order blank bags from a national firm and have them printed locally if we can do it at a lower cost. You may already have some bags available in your program. We could also combine our orders to get
lower prices. We are about ready to place our order so let us know if you want to participate! If you have a really good source for low-priced recycled bags, let us know.

* Schedule appearance at local super markets, must get management permission. We will be at several markets that day and give out about 100 bags at each location; we plan to follow up at more markets the week after Nov. 15

* Prepare info board (20"x30") with plastic bag facts-we can provide language to you. Also, prepare information where plastic bags and film can be recycled locally.

* Send out media announcements the week before and again a day or two before the event. Send cotton bags to media with facts inside. We can provide a sample press release to you.

* Give bags and facts to local officials during the week of Nov. 15, at City Council and Board meetings.

* Schedule people at each market on ARD and week after.

We hope that this may be a worthwhile activity for your ARD celebration!
Looking forward to hearing from you, in the spirit of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle"!



Heidi Feldman
Public Education Coordinator
Monterey Regional Waste Management District
P.O. Box 1670, Marina, CA 93933
Tel.: 831/384-5313 FAX: 831/384-3567



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