Plastic Bag Victory—Keep the Pressure On!

October 11, 2011

plastic-bag-no1-thumb-221x221-13177Score one for environmentally conscious businesses. Keep up the pressure on your state legislatures—Take Action!


Remember the ludicrous lawsuit we told you about recently against ecological leader ChicoBag? The plaintiffs—Hilex Poly Company, Superbag Operating, and Advance Polybag, who make disposable single-use plastic bags—have dropped the case, most likely in response to public pressure from citizens like you!

Part of the lawsuit alleged that ChicoBag was spreading false information about plastic bags. When ChicoBag challenged the plastic bag companies to prove their allegations by publishing the true recycling rate of plastic bags, Superbag and Advance Polybag dropped out of the case. Hilex Poly, now fighting alone (one might say they were left “holding the bag”), quickly settled the case against ChicoBag.

The settlement brought some necessary changes. The plastic bag industry had been saying, “Bags don’t litter, people do.” But as part of the settlement, Hilex acknowledged that single-use bags can indeed become wind-blown litter even if they are properly disposed, and the company agreed to address the issue on its website and print a message on its bags telling users to tie the bag in a knot after using them to prevent windblown litter.

In addition, Hilex Poly had been saying that 12% of plastic bags are recycled, while ChicoBag, citing EPA figures, said only 1% of bags are recycled. Hilex Poly agreed to reassess their number to reflect the actual truth

A huge thank you goes out to our member activists for writing their legislators in support of plastic bag bills. Please continue writing and highlighting this important issue with our Action Alert—the tide of public opinion is definitely against the use of disposable plastic bags!

25 responses to “Plastic Bag Victory—Keep the Pressure On!”

  1. Penny Gregorio says:

    The tide of public opinion is definitely against the use of disposable plastic bags!

  2. Renee Locks says:

    Good news. We shall continue to deal with this.

  3. Judith says:

    Sometimes I do find that plastic bags are worth using. Dirty shoes, wet clothing and a few other things. So now are we going back to the Paper Bags from days gone by? The other things they sell us in the stores are terrible and as far as sanitary??????? They don’t even last long. Paper bags you can recyle even in the garden as mulch.

    • Sage says:

      There are now “plastic” bags sold at Whole Foods Market that are made from potato starch. They are entirely compostible. This is helpful, as I agree, sometimes a paper bag just doesn’t work. For instance, produce will wilt if kept in a paper bag or no bag at all. I plan on using these bags to keep my produce in, then re-using them to dispose of the trimmings and other garbage afterwards. If you have a compost bin, you can put all of this into the bin and it will turn to mulch!

  4. Deborah Oliphant says:

    Sorry – I will never be interested in banning plastic bags – they can be used for so many things, toting all kinds of stuff, and with handles and being lighter and stronger, they are a vast improvement over paper bags.

    • mix says:

      Unfortunately, when paper bags get wet, they fall apart. But I am all for banning the single-use plastic. its a real dilema. I dont know what to do.

  5. Betty R says:

    We used to put the bags in a receptacle at the store for recycling, but our store stopped collecting the bags saying they no longer had a source for recycling. The bag manufacturers should take them back for recycling.
    I use reusable shopping bags that I sew 99% of the time. The plastic bags I get at the store are used in my wastebaskets for trash.

  6. Jane Goebel says:

    We must do everything to protect the environment and elimanating plastic bags should be at the top.

  7. Louise Esther Rothstein says:

    I liberate numerous plastic bags that my neighbors were going to discard.
    When I go to the store I NEVER need to take ANY new bags.
    And I put “old” bags back to work at least once a week because the number of new bags that I don’t take adds up at least as often.
    Reduce.Reuse. Recycle.
    You betcha.

  8. Jayne Pitchford says:

    One easy step for mankind, one giant step for ocean life! It’s fun to see all the colorful bags at
    the grocery these days here in santa monica.
    Everyone gets used to it and is happy to have helped a little bit against global warming.

  9. Sonia Liskoski says:

    There are alternatives, and not doubt profitable ones to the horrific mess created by plastic bagsIt should be a personal moral and ethical issue to manufacturers to supply their customers with a product that not only serves the immediate task service but long term aids in the health of the
    earth and all its inhabitants.

  10. Catherine Hirsch says:

    In Japan they are melting them all down and making fuel out of them…

  11. Raymond says:

    Even if the possibility global warming is a hoax, what if it isn’t and you find it is true after all and you find out after the planet has died?97% Scientists say the planet is warming due to burning fossilfuels….uh by mankind’s activities.
    Plastic bags need to be outlawed. I use reusable cloth bags.

    • michelle says:

      From what I understand, global warming it due to the sun getting hotter. The ice on Mars and Europa (?) is melting too. Not that we shouldn’t care. The plastic sludge in the ocean and animal life dead of malnutrition is enough to make anyone shudder, unless you’re heartless (bottled water, oil, Big Pharma…etc.) It always amazes me how people pollute their own neighborhoods!!

  12. Madge says:

    All that plastic, made from oil, so cheap and most is thrown away – not all plastics are recyclable at least not yet. We pay high prices at the pump for fuel that is an oil product too. Why can’t at least one billion be used to figure out how to put discarded plastic including plastic bags in our gas tanks? There has got to be a way.

  13. Earlene Saulnier says:

    In Toronto you are encouraged to purchase cloth bags for shopping as they are no longer given out for ‘free.’ If you don’t bring your bags you are charged 5 cents per plastic bag; a tariff of sorts. Tying knots in bags won’t help the environment, not using them at all will definitely help.

  14. Michael Kirkby says:

    I try to limit my use of plastic bags as much as possible; reusing them as many times as the product will permit. Most of our bags here in Toronto are now made from recycled plastic just like my orchid pots.
    What irks me is when I see the bags hanging from trees or left strewn along with bottles and styrofoam containers in the parkette across the street from me. Yes many will say oh that’s the homeless people. Oh no it’s not in many cases. I see university and high school students who come from good homes; yet are too lazy to walk three feet or ten feet depending upon where they are sitting in the parkette to deposit their trash in the waste containers provided. I guess many of them depend on mommy to clean up after them at home and of course she can’t be there to hold their hands or pick up after them when they’re out in public.
    Thanks to all the young people who do. You are noticed and it is appreciated. There are still a lot of fine young people out there.

  15. Michael Kirkby says:

    Just an addendum to my last message; with all the “weeds” such as kudzu and bamboo and not forgetting about hemp either; why couldn’t we replace plastic bags and packaging; styrofoam containers with packaging made from these natural materials?
    We used to make 5,000 first rate quality products from paper to clothing from hemp. If you don’t like hemtp there is kudzu, and lots of it which the gardeners and landscapers would be grateful for getting rid of it. Of course we could stop wantonly gobbling up necessary arable land to grow crops for biofuels which are anything but environmentally friendly and escalate grain and food prices unecessarily. The chaff from the plants such as corn husks and stalk remainders could be converted to reusable sustainble fibre products to replace styrofoam and plastics as bulk packaging.
    There are three brothers in the PRC who are now producing quality clothing using bamboo; and desk top accoutrements even including computer frames that are catching on.
    The fact of the matter is that we could return to using paper bags and wax paper like we did in the fifties; only made from reusable plant material unlike we did back then with paper made from trees. These products would be biodegradable without special treatment and would be reusable. We wouldn’t have to be continually planting trees or have dedicated industry forests.

  16. Cindy says:

    Plastic bags are obsolete and unnecessary. Reusable totes (whatever kind you care to use), are a wonderful option and last for ages if cared for propberly, i.e., not loaded way past the weight limit. Additionally, many can me used for the same purposes that people reuse plastic bags for, thus totally eliminating the usefulness of that evil little piece of wastefulness.

  17. Lois says:

    I use reusable cloth bags as well, some of which I have made myself. I also have been using the plastic bags for my wastebaskets, which I’m sure is why so many of them end up in the landfill. As far as other uses for disposable plastic bags, you can cut them into strips and crochet bags and mats from them. And by the way, does anyone remember what we used to do before they made disposable plastic bags? There are too many disposable items being consumed in this country that have only been around for the last 50-60 years. We seem to have lost our creativity.

  18. I LOATHE plastic bags! There is no sense to keep using them. Sure, you can reuse them for soiled garments, bathroom liners in the can, etc. BUT, here’s an idea…why not buy bags with liners which you can wash out in your sink for your groceries? Why not use no liner at all and take the time to wash your bathroom cans? I walk to my grocery store and find that they are not always reliable like my cloth bags are and I can load much more in a cloth bag anyway! BAN plastic bags for good!

  19. rita Butler says:

    When you have to use plastic bags use the biodegradable type. They are more expensive but if you don’t use them much, it will not cost a lot. For all other uses I use canvas ot nylon bags. These last forever. Many of these I got for free as gifts from charities for giving a donation. Several of these bags have insulation layers so they are great for keeping foods cool and extremely sturdy. Plastic bags tear and blow around and are a major source of litter.
    Some people collect used plastic bags and make them into useful items like clothes or purses or even artwork!

  20. joe smith says:

    are not plastic bags an industrial by-product? it’s my understanding without the production of plastic bags the by-product used to make the bags will just be dumped into the air.

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