Bag the Bags
We already have single stream recycling for detached homes, townhouses and we are even starting to see single stream in many multifamily dwellings around Arlington, so we are miles ahead of other cities around the country in how we deal with plastic. The problem is that plastic bags are not durable, so they really are often just one time use. In fact, in many cases plastic bags don’t even make it home with customers in tact. Who hasn’t been forced to double bag? When bags break they are not recycled they are trashed. When that happens they end up either incinerated, polluting the air we breath or in our water supply where they eventually make their way to the Potomac Rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
Would paper bags be better? I think that is a debate that still needs to be fully examined. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won’t answer the paper-plastic question, but their suggestion that we all switch to reusable bags is really the easiest solution. If a plastic bag ban did exist in Arlington, then business could help contribute to the solution by charging a fee for paper bags. StyrofoamMom says, “Bag the Bags.”