Planning & Development

Skip the Bag, Save the River

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by Josh Wood Monday January 11, 2010

This is supposed to be a painting of a bag in the tree. Josh Wood.On Tuesday, January 12 at 7pm, the Cranston Planning Commission will consider the Stop & Shop proposal slated for the Warwick Nurseries property. One of the concessions the neighborhood wants is a moratorium on plastic bags.

It’s a great idea, but I think the ban on bags should be approached in a different way. Instead, all stores in Rhode Island should be required to charge for bags, both paper and plastic.

Some stores have adopted their own policies. Whole Foods has banned bags in its markets nationwide. Some retailers, like Pet Supplies “Plus”, have switched to bio-degradable plastic.

Skip the Bag, Save the RiverStarting January 1, all businesses in Washington DC that sell food or alcohol are required to charge 5 cents for each paper or plastic bag it dispenses. The business keeps up to 2 cents of the fee, and the remainder goes to a local river fund. An interesting note is that the District partnered with Rhode Island corporation CVS to produce and distribute 112,000 reusable bags around the city.

The State of Rhode Island has spent thousands trying to deal with the plastic bag problem. The trees around the landfill flutter with so many loose plastic bags they look like corn stuck in teeth. Anyone remember those knotted plastic bag bunnies on local billboards a few years ago? They were cute, but maybe all that money should’ve been spent on a focus to eliminate the bags in the first place.

I’d love to see the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association get behind this. Pushing for strict statewide restrictions on disposable bags will only make the markets and retailers look better.

[where: 02910]

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