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U.N. environment chief urges global ban on plastic bags

June 12, 2009

From McClatchy

Although recycling bags is on the rise in the United States, an estimated 90 billion thin bags a year, most used to handle produce and groceries, go unrecycled. They were the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts at the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental group.

“Single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme. His office advises U.N. member states on environmental policies.

Steiner’s declaration accompanied a UNEP report that identifies plastic as the most pervasive form of ocean litter. According to the report, “Plastic, the most prevalent component of marine debris, poses hazards because it persists so long in the ocean, degrading into tinier and tinier bits that can be consumed by the smallest marine life at the base of the food web.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    July 20, 2009 4:13 pm

    I have been sending to my high school and college alumni classmates, friends and family . Many don’t care much, but once it became fashionable to go back to “Natural” products, everyone is in this. I think those of us who had earlier exerted efforts on a total ban against plastic bags, styrofoam, plastic bottles, cups and other disposables and were labelled as “impractical” and “anti-progressive.” Politicians in my state of Hawaii are still fighting us who are into the total ban and definately could use some help. I feel it is important to relate the fight thatclear and clean water should be the standard service to keep water free for a community and not a “business” for some to come in and take the water then sell it back to us in a plastic bottle.

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