Plastic Bag Bans

It takes over 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose and much of its contents do not decompose, but they become micro-plastics that acquire toxins and continue to pollute the environment.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year!  It takes 12M barrels of oil to produce them.  Plastic bags kill 100,000 Marine animals a year.”  While the bags are cheap and convenient their environmental stake is a huge liability.  “It takes over 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose and much of its contents do not decompose, but they become microplastics that acquire toxins and continue to pollute the environment. “ 

Currently, 13 municipalities in the Palmetto state have plastic bag bans.  The majority are coastal areas, but Arcadia Lakes in Richland County is among the first inland communities to join Beaufort County (Bluffton, Hilton Head, Beaufort), Charleston, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island.  South Carolina legislators have been wrestling with a ban of the ban’s, or a compromise bill with what appears to be no resolution in the current legislative year.

Since it’s inception Folly Beach, has seen a drop in plastic bag clean up by 80%.  California, NY and HI have state bans on plastic bags along with cities like Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.  Several other state legislatures have introduced proposed legislation on plastic pollution while several are wrestling with preemptive legislation to push back against municipalities passing local plastic bag ordinances. The issue will continue to be hotly debated within legislative branches as plastic bag manufacturers and small business lobbies for the cheaper alternative. 

The Center for Biological Diversity has identified plastic in our oceans as a global crisis:   

We're surrounded by plastic. It’s in the single-use packaging we discard, the consumer goods that fill our stores, and in our clothing, which sheds micro-plastic fibers in the wash. 

In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of more plastic end up in the world's oceans. Studies estimate there are now 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans — from the equator to the poles, from Arctic ice sheets to the sea floor. Not one square mile of ocean surface anywhere on earth is free of plastic pollution.

In addition to ocean waters, plastic bags clog sewers and wastewater treatment facilities.  Farmer’s battle plastic bags frequently with equipment jams and wildlife are affected by the increasing free flow of bags blowing across the country from parking lots, parks, and rest areas. 

How can you help?  Use reusable (canvass, vinyl, cloth) bags for your shopping trips.  Instead of plastic ask for paper bags and recycle them.  It is estimated that only 1% of plastic bags are actually returned for recycling.  If your company has a recycling program, or service suggest that employees bring in their bags once a month for recycling. 

Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc., helps companies with waste disposal, waste recycling, energy recovery, environmental consulting and more.  We are confident in our ability to implement cleaner, greener innovations into your operations, making better use of resources and minimizing waste, all of which serve to reduce the collective impact on our planet.

 

Mike Watts, President

Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc.

http://www.pinnacleenv.com

864.236.5450

Mike Watts

by: Mike Watts

Pinnacle Environmental Services

From its inception, Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc. (Pinnacle) has maintained its focus on providing superior customer service to our customers. We strive to exceed expectations through our comprehensive environmentally-friendly and innovative solutions to current waste management challenges. We are confident in our ability to implement cleaner, greener innovations into your operations, making better use of resources and minimizing waste, all of which serve to reduce the collective impact on our planet. Consider our Total Waste Management Program. We create custom programs for each of our clients and it all begins by listening—a rare commodity in this industry. Rather than make an attempt to sell you a standard package of services, our highly-trained analysts perform an on-site Waste Analysis Study. We talk with management and production staff to carefully examine the waste streams and determine their source and content. This helps us understand the entire trajectory of your operations. With that understanding as the foundation on which to build, we apply our expertise to develop your Total Waste Management Program. And we do more than just develop the program, we work with you to ensure a smooth transition. We deliver on-site training for your management and production staff to ensure everyone understands the new system of waste management. We establish and adhere to a pick-up schedule, using the appropriate vehicles with drivers who are DOT-trained and certified in OSHA hazardous material handling. Our drivers are also certified drug-free! Sustainability is a word that is often used in discussing environmental issues. At Pinnacle, we value sustainability not just in the environmental sense, but also in the lasting relationships we have with our clients. That is why we go to so much effort with the Total Waste Management Program! We want more than just a call for service. We are dedicated to establishing exemplary service and a long-term commitment to your company. Pinnacle has the expertise and training that assures you that we will meet Federal, State and Local Regulations. Compliance is the bedrock philosophy of our management. You will enjoy peace of mind knowing we are handling this critical aspect of your business and confident it will be handled well. You will also enjoy the knowledge that by choosing Pinnacle, you are making our world a little bit greener! So—check us out. We promise outstanding results every day. Give us the opportunity and we will show you how we earn the right to handle your business with our cost effective environmental solutions based on compliance and customer service!

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