Saturday, January 24, 2015

Support HB661. the "Disposable Plastic Bags" Bill

In 2010, about 690,000 tons of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) "bags, sacks, and wraps" were generated in the US but only 4.3% of these were recycled.  

Plastics comprise up to 90% of floating marine debris, and up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources.  

An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter.   

It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 Billion plastic bags a year, or 360 bags per  year for every man, woman and chad in the country.  

Now for the history lesson:  
  • In 2008, Florida lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting local governments from banning plastic bags until the Department of Environmental Protection  (DEP) created recommendations, and they were adopted by the Legislature.  
  • In 2010 the DEP completed the Retail Bags Report, strategies to discourage the use of single-use paper and plastic retail bags...but the Legislature still hasn't adopted it.   
HB661 would allow municipalities with populations under f100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags.  This pilot program would run until 2018 and, afterwards, a municipality would be able to decide whether or not to continue the ban, through the passage of an ordinance.

Support HB661 and give local governments the ability to do something about the harmful impacts of single-us plastics!  

The next step for this bill is for Titusville's Rep Goodson to place it on the Ag and Natural Resouces Subcommittee Agenda.  We need help encouraging him to do so--calls, e-mails and meetings by constituents would be particularly helpful!  There is also a Facebook page to encourage him to put it on the agenda https://www.facebook.com/HB661  and a petition at https://www.change.org/p/support-florida-house-bill-661-senate-bill-966-disposable-plastic-bags/u/9760566.  Please visit these and take action to support moving HB661 forward!