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More Plastic Bag Options

February 5th, 2010 by Mike Vasilinda

State environmental officials are backing down on an outright ban of
plastic bags at the supermarket and other stores. Mike Vasilinda first
reported on the ban this past October, but now he tells us the state
will likely rely on voluntary efforts to keep the plastic out of landfills.

Gladys Cherry admits she sometimes forgets the canvas bags in her car
when shopping. Shes been using the canvas bags for at least five years,

I dont have to use plastic bags and Im trying to be environmentally correct,” Cherry said.

Dog owners and others gave the state an earful after a proposed ban with
a tax on plastic bags was suggested in a draft report last October.

The final report, just out, makes no conclusion.

This environmental protection report lists 12 options to discourage the use of plastic bags, everything from taxing them to banning them or encouraging the use of recyclables like this.

Stores big and small are offering canvas alternatives. This Tallahassee specialty market gets five bucks for a sack with its logo.

They love to have your logo on there, especially a small place like this,” Tomato Land’s Linda Reagan said.

And the nations big retailers are taking notice.

Target recently began offering a five cent rebate to customers when they bring in their reusable bag,” Samantha Padgett with the Florida Retail Federation said. “CVS has employed an option where you buy their little tag and you attach it to the reusable bag and every four times you use it, theyll give you a one dollar CVS extra care buck.

Other states and countries that have opted for taxes on plastic bags
have used the money for environmental programs, but while money is tight here
in Florida, there may be no stomach for a tax on something just about
everyone uses.

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