Eugene Becomes Third City in Oregon to Ban Plastic Bags

Congratulations to the city of Eugene, Oregon, for becoming the third city in that state to ban plastic bags, joining the state of Hawaii and a handful of cities in California. Who’s next?

 

Eugene has become the third city in Oregon to implement a single-use plastic bag ban following the city council’s vote to ban plastic checkout bags and put a fee on paper bags. The decision will have big payoffs for Oregon’s environment and the Pacific Ocean.

{Click here to read more about alternatives to plastic bags.}

“Eugene City Councilors should be applauded for standing up for our oceans and voting to curb the flow of plastic bag pollution,” said Environment Oregon’s state director, Sarah Higginbotham. “Now, we need other cities to take action and make a lasting difference with bag bans of their own.”

Thousands of Eugenians voiced their support for a bag ban, alongside dozens of small and large businesses. As the second largest city in the state, Eugene’s bag ban will make a significant impact when it takes effect in six months, greatly reducing the estimated 67 millionplastic bags residents use annually. Eugene joins Portland and Corvallis in banning plastic checkout bags.

Altogether, Oregonians use approximately 1.7 billion plastic bags each year, and too many of them end up as litter in our ocean. Today, there are 100 million tons of trash in the North Pacific Gyre; in some parts of the Pacific, plastic outweighs plankton 6 to 1.

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New Tool Can Help Paper Buyers Measure Environmental Impact of Paper Usage

Reblogged from: EcoWatch

The Environmental Paper Network has released a new version of the Paper Calculator to better assist paper buyers with measuring the environmental impact of their paper usage and shifting to paper that supports climate and endangered forest protection.

The Paper Calculator is the original and most independent paper life-cycle impact estimator available. The improvements make the Paper Calculator easier to use, and include updated industry data and technical input from diverse stakeholders. The Paper Calculator is made available to users for free by the Environmental Paper Network thanks to its coalition members, supporters and through Power User premium sponsorships.

The original analytical model for the Paper Calculator was developed by Environmental Defense Fund based on research by the multi-stakeholder Paper Task Force. In 2011, ownership of the Paper Calculator was transferred to the Environmental Paper Network. Today, the Paper Calculator is utilized by more than 50,000 users per year and appears on millions of pieces of environmentally improved paper products from companies such as Office Depot, Sprint and Starbucks.

The key improvements in version 3.2 include:

  • More completely capturing the life-cycle water use of both recycled and virgin fiber based on consultation with industry associations and life cycle experts
  • Updated national average data on mill performance
  • Calculates the environmental savings of both post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content
  • Updated decomposition rates for each of the paper grades based on new data

The Paper Calculator is committed to independence and transparency, and a detailed documentation of the Paper Calculator version 3.2 methodology can be found by clicking here.

The Environmental Paper Network also recently introduced the Power User premium sponsorship program, which offers additional features and technical support. The program’s inaugural members include respected NGOs and business leaders including New Leaf Paper, Office Depot, Hemlock Printers, Computershare, Staples, GreenerPrinter, FutureMark Paper and Friesens Corporation.

The Environmental Paper Network is a coalition of non-profit organizations working together to protect the earth’s climate and endangered forests by transforming the production and consumption of paper products. The Steering Committee of the Environmental Paper Network is CanopyClimate for IdeasConservatreeDogwood AllianceForestEthicsGreen AmericaGreen Press InitiativeNatural Resources Council of MaineNational Wildlife Federation and Rainforest Action Network.

Visit the new Paper Calculator today by clicking here.