Nussbaum: Here's why plastic bags shouldn't be in the green bin

By Tobi Nussbaum, Ottawa Citizen, April 2, 2018

The decision made last week at Ottawa council to allow plastic bags in the composting stream is a short-sighted one on which I and two of my colleagues (councillors Jeff Leiper and Catherine McKenney) dissented.

Increasingly as a society, we are recognizing the costs of single-use plastic bags. At the production end, plastic bags are a non-renewable, petroleum-based product that take energy to produce – 12 million barrels’ worth worldwide each year. On the consumption side, these bags take up space in our increasingly costly landfill sites – if we’re lucky. If we’re not lucky, they end up in other even less desirable places. Only recently, a study in Scientific Reports outlined how the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has grown to over three times the size of continental France, weighing in at a staggering 80,000 metric tons.

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