plastic bags

30 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Sodexo Campus Dining Team, Barnes & Noble College

Reduce Plastic Bag Use at Tulane!

Plastic bags are something most of us use daily, usually because there isn't a better alternative. However, these common items harm life on land and in the sea. More than 400 million to 800 million plastic bags worldwide end up in landfills, breaking into toxic petroleum polymers and lasting more than a millennium until they decompose (EPA, 2014., Columbia U., 2012). 8.8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, choking, drowning, or blocking the digestive tracts of marine mammals, seabirds, turtles, fish, and crustaceans(WWF, 2016, Laist, 1987). Reducing plastic bags does more than save animals and our ecosystems. Reducing plastic saves energy. Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, distilled from petroleum oil. Americans annually use 30 billion plastic shopping bags extracted from 12 million barrels of oil(ABC News, 2007). This amount of oil can provide energy for 76 thousands Louisiana residents or 368 thousands New York state residents per year(EPA, 2015).  The good news is is that plastic is on its way out. Between 2015 and 2016, 23 states proposed 77 bills regulating plastic bags. Austin, TX banned single-use carry out bags in 2013, and California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags in 2014  (NCSL, 2017). We propose Tulane join this humane movement by taxing 15 cents per plastic bag and using the profit to distribute reusable bags.  Specifically, we appeal to the McAlister Market and the bookstore. In these locations, free plastic bags are given with most purchases, even with one item.  This move would follow a number of sustainable initiatives implemented by Sodexo and the Barnes & Noble at Tulane. For instance, the dining team at Bruff recycles, composts, and runs the well-known OZZI reusable container program(Dining Services - Sustainability). Likewise, the bookstore team recycles and reuses cardboards, works with socially responsible vendors, and sells reusable bags. Along with these successful initiatives, we believe the entire Tulane community can benefit from plastic bag taxation.   Imposing a 15 cents tax on plastic bags and distributing reusable bags with the profit will reduce plastic bag usage. Austin temporarily experienced low efficacy after a tax on plastic bags because the low-income family was not provided with an alternative for plastic bags(NBC, 2016). The USG Sustainability Committee will strive to ensure an alternative by distributing reusable bags with in a responsible and socially conscious manner. With clear intentions and a well thought out plan, the Tulane community can become  more eco-friendly with your support. 

USG Sustainability Committee
1,143 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to Wayne Jett

Stop the use of disposable bags

According to the EPA, between 500 million and a trillion plastic bags are exploited internationally each year. Consequently, these bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but remain among Earth for thousands of years, polluting landfills, oceans, parks and beaches. Many believe the solution is this; switch to paper bags, but, both plastic and paper disposable bags are costly, environmentally damaging, and completely inessential. This threat is not only related to the sheer volume of them ending up in landfill, but also to the resources needed to produce. The making of plastic bags requires substantial amounts of natural resources, water, and energy. Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels, requiring 2.2 billion pounds of these nonrenewable resources, and 3.9 billion gallons of fresh water to produce the 100 billion plastic bags the US consumes each year. During the manufacturing process, these bags produce another one billion pounds of waste and 2.7 million tons of CO2 per year. Exhausted yet? This does not even count for the energy and water required, essentially creating more pollution than plastic bags. In addition to the production of plastic bags, producing the paper bags used in the U.S. each year requires 14 million trees. To replace the damage, 14 million trees would need to be planted each year, but even then it would take anywhere from 10-30 years for the trees to reach maturity. Along with the decline of trees also comes air pollution. It estimated that the production of paper bags creates 70% more air pollution than plastic bag production. Production of paper bags also results in much more water getting polluted when compared to the production of plastic bags because their manufacturing process requires a substantially large amount of water. Not only does water play a role in the production of disposable bags, but it also plays a role in the pollution caused by them as well. Because plastic bags never fully break down, oftentimes they clog storm drains and damage infrastructure on their way to become ocean pollution. In 1998, plastic bag pollution in Bangladesh clogged storm drains and was the central cause of severe floods that submerged 2/3 of the country. Four years later, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban thinner plastic bags. Evidently enough, the storm drains are not the only watercourses affected by the pollution of plastic bags. The mass consumption of plastic products has created a plastic wasteland in our oceans. Globally, plastic is now more evident in our oceans than plankton, with 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean. Both marine and avian lives are choked and strangled by tossed bags, and are killed by consuming partially broken-down plastic pieces. The complication of pollution affects 267 species of marine life and will drastically increase through the continuous use of disposable bags. Expressed above, the use of disposable bags negatively impacts the environment, but also affects the economy as well. Bags may be given out for free at check-outs, but  U.S. retailers spend $4 billion per year on disposable bags, and that cost is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. It also costs to clean up and dispose of the plastic bags. Even if you think you have thrown away a bag responsibly, the bag can blow out of a garbage truck or landfill and end up as inadvertent litter. In New York alone, the city spends $10 million to dispose of the plastic bags. Though we are not in power to ban the use of plastic bags used by retail, we do have the ability to abstain from the use of them before gaining the attention of higher authority. This can be done by bringing your own bag when shopping. Reusable grocery bags and shopping bags are often available for purchase in stores at the point of sale. Some estimates suggest that purchasing a single set of reusable shopping bags and using them every time you go shopping could eliminate the disposal of as many as 20,000 disposable plastic bags. Reusable bags save both plants and animals, and help cut down on the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases. Remember, you have a choice. Even if plastic shopping bags are still offered free of charge, that doesn't mean you can't decline to use them. There’s a greater price to pay if the issue of plastic bags are ignored. So, spend the extra dollar on a reusable bag and stray away from the use of plastic. With your purchase we’ll be one step closer to a sustainable environment...and your bags won’t tear either.  

Kailee Kiefer
420 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Jackie Biskupski, Andrew Johnston, James Rogers, Stan Penfold, Derek Kitchen, erin mendenhall, charlie luke, Lisa Adams

Ban plastic bags in Salt Lake City

Your help is needed to pass a resolution that would ban the use of plastic bags in Salt Lake City, Utah. Plastic bags, while convenient, have proven to be a huge problem for the environment. These disposable and damaging bags, while only used for 12 minutes on average, end up in streets, sewers, rivers, forests and our oceans where they slowly degrade over thousands of years. These plastics wreak havoc on the environment wherever they go. They threaten hundreds of species of animals, leak toxins which end up in our food and water and cost taxpayers millions in waste management. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to one hundred trillion plastic bags are used around the world each year. Every year, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produced in the U.S. alone, but only 1 billion are recycled. At a time where many people are trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are collectively using about 12 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic bags that are used each year. Breaking the habit of plastic bag use can start with the individual. We can take reusable bags with us when we shop, we can choose paper over plastic or even skip bagging all together when we only have few items. Voice your concern with your friends, family, local retailers and city officials. All these things can help gain traction in the war on plastic. It may seem like a daunting task to try and solve the plastic bag problem, especially considering the trillions of plastic bags used every year. You may think to yourself that your tiny little choices in your tiny little life couldn't possibly affect this great big world. You may be right, but collectively, billions of people making daily decisions can and do impact the world. That is why we need our local government to establish laws that can aid in the fight. Some governments and retailers have begun taking steps to phase out plastic bags. Many cities across the U.S. have banned single use plastic bags, including Utah's very own Park City. Utah is known world wide for its beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife. It only makes sense that we should lead the charge in environmental conservation. It's time for this great state's capitol to shine as a leader and ban plastic bags.  I leave you to ponder this quote from conservationist, Aldo Leopold.  "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect" Please join the fight for a greener tomorrow. Sign and share this petition and together we WILL make a difference.    

Connor Foshee
646 supporters