Don't ban; recycle
EDITOR: Sonoma County is considering banning single-use plastic bags and promoting the use of reusable carry-out bags. The Waste Management Agency produced a report labeled "Waste Reduction Program for Carryout Bags." In the executive summary, the first objective of the program is to reduce "the amount of single-use paper and plastic bags in trash loads to reduce land fill volumes."
What is presented is a plan to ban single-use plastic bags and provide paper bags for a fee. Customers would be encouraged to shift to reusable bags. One might think that recycling bags would be considered a solution since plastic and paper bags are both recyclable. The program makes no mention of recycling recyclable bags.
Plastic bags are sturdy and clean containers for transporting items from stores to homes. Replacing single-use bags with reusable bags would be swapping clean, new bags for bags of questionable cleanliness. One study found that 97 percent of customers don't wash their reusable bags ("Plastic-bag bans can have unsavory results," Feb. 6).
Aluminum cans weren't banned — they get recycled.
Sonoma County needs to lead the way to more efficient recycling of all plastics, including bags.