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Ban use of plastic bags in Eagle River stores PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

Earth Day is near and in keeping with this special day, think about something meaningful we can do to celebrate the care of our world.

Many cities worldwide (even Chicago) are considering or have adopted ordinances which ban the use of plastic bags, the kind which merchants give to customers to carry their purchases home. The very real danger to wildlife and the harm to the environment in general by these bags cannot be disputed.

I’m suggesting that the city of Eagle River adopt such a ban. We live in an area that is remarkably beautiful, yet sensitive to manmade dangers. How inspiring it would be if Eagle River chose to become the environmental leader of the North Woods!

We pride ourselves on the natural beauty of the trails, lakes and woods. Let’s also take pride in our leadership to preserve that which makes the North Woods special. If one business will adopt a self-policing approach, others will follow.

What a demonstration of civic pride it would be if one of our major grocery stores would take the lead, much as Donna’s Cafe did many years ago when the indoor smoking ban was an issue. It seems that such a presentation of Eagle River would enhance our reputation and also boost tourism year-round.

If you agree with this approach to save our environment, our wildlife and our woods from plastic bag harm, then let your merchants know, let the Eagle River City Council know. Together we can make a difference.

Bill Henderson

Eagle River

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:59 AM


-7 #3 Frank Gabl 2014-04-16 07:20
There is nothing menacing about retail plastics bags. The problem is simply with the current process which inherently creates overuse while exempting the end user from personal responsibility.

All the entire country needs is an intelligent system that wins over the people with an environmental perspective and incentivizes the return of the bags, by either those who see an opportunity to make some money, or the end user who wants to recoup the charge incurred at checkout.

A deposit-refund system of 6 cents deposit and nickel refund should effectively solve the current dilemma. The penny differential would allow retail outlets to purchase and maintain as many mandated refund machines as a particular store deems necessary for a hassle-free return experience of any retailer’s bag. And to opt out - bring your own bag.

Big box stores like Depot or Walmart would stay with plastic, while food stores could still offer both.

Cont. below:
-6 #2 Frank Gabl 2014-04-16 07:18

However, food stores would be more inclined to push paper bags with handles, since time has proven paper much more practical for transporting groceries than flimsy plastic anyway. And for cost reasons, smaller retailers like Ace or gift shops would switch exclusively to paper.

The system worked effectively years ago for pop and beer bottles and only became obsolete due to population growth as well as a bottle’s all-around awkwardness which plastic bags are free from.

I have never heard of this idea floated and it seems to me to be no more difficult to get accustomed to than the whole household garbage/recycling situation was at first.

And let us not forget that it was the environmental movement that created the plastic bag fiasco in order to save trees - a “renewable resource” - which naturally produces “eco-friendlier” bio-degradable paper bags. But apparently, that wasn’t good enough at the time.
-7 #1 2014-04-16 00:11
I have witnessed no negative affects in my many years as a resident and I will be sure to advise any merchants that I visit, especially the grocers, that I do not agree with the discontinuation of the convenience of the handy reusable plastic bags and that I hope they will not give in to the many radical environmentalis ts on the loose these days.

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