Canada is about to become the first country to declare bisphenol-a (BPA)—used in baby bottles, drink containers, and as a liner in cans—a toxic chemical, reports the New York Times. An anonymous source has said that the work by Canada’s chemical review program to list BPA as a toxic chemical “was complete and was recently endorsed by a panel of outside scientists.” The announcement is expected any time between today and the end of May.
Earlier this month, several consumer groups announced that heated plastic baby bottles leach bisphenol A “in amounts that were within the range shown to cause harm in animal studies.” Now a reader writes in to tell us that companies are already starting to respond to the issue with announcements that they’ll be releasing glass bottles in addition to plastic versions.
Whole Foods says that by Earth Day 2008 they will be eliminating plastic bags and instead offer only paper bags or reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles for $0.99.
Some people would rather not take a plastic bag if they don’t need one, ourselves included, because a) enough with the plastic bags already b) it’s wasteful and bad for the planet to take plastic bags when you really blatantly don’t need or want them.
London Councils is considering either banning or placing a tax on plastic shopping bags to help curb landfill waste. They say London is “facing a landfill problem because Londoners annually use 1.6 billion bags, which take 400 years to decompose.”
As you get them, shove bags in the top hole; as you need them, pull them out of the bottom hole. (I fit 15 medium-sized bags in my bottle.) Having the plastic bags at hand-my keeper will be hanging by my back door-should encourage reusing them. Plus, they look a lot neater packed in that bottle.
Nifty! We think we’ll put ours under the bathroom sink because we use our Target bags as bathroom garbage bags. —MEGHANN MARCO
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags; supermarkets across the city will retrain their employees to ask: paper or biodegradable plastic?
The Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance, written by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and Co., sponsored by six other supervisors, gives major supermarket chains with more than $2 million in annual sales six months to make the switch to biodegradable bags. Pharmacies and retailers with at least five locations have one year. Violators face fines of up to $500.
Supermarkets have let economics guide their choice between paper and plastic. Paper bags cost four cents, while plastic bags cost a penny. The largest San Francisco supermarket hands out 125 million plastic bags each year.
Kraft, like many food makers, often walks a fine line with its marketing, testing the limits of federal labeling regulations that are often vague or confusing.