Monday, February 23, 2009

Bag It: Competition in Colorado

Sometimes they're just so darn handy. But overall, plastic bags are a beast.

They fly around in the wind (cleanup costs). They clog drains (flooding). They harm curious wildlife that think they're a tasty jelly snack (digestive troubles). They get caught in the rollers at recycling centers (safety and time issues). Aside from that scene in American Beauty, plastic bags are trouble.

In 2003, South Africa banned plastic bags. Get caught handing out bags less than 30 microns thick? Face a fine of 100,000 rand ($13,800 in 2003) or a 10-year jail sentence. Strict measures.

With a slightly warmer, cuddlier approach (think fleece), the Colorado Association of Ski Towns is having a reusable bag contest from March to September of 2009. Check it out, as well as an avalanche of other helpful information, on the High Country Conservation website. I think competition is a good motivation tactic. Keep us posted, Joanne.

[photo of reusable bags from a checkout line in Brussels, Belgium.]

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