Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bag It Corvallis Connects to Local Businesses

On Monday, Jan. 9, supporters of Bag It Corvallis visited 41 local businesses. Six signed a letter of support and 30 showed positive interest, requesting that we contact them again. Tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 13) another Business Canvass takes place from 9 a.m. to noon.

Pictured: Dave Matthews of Environment Oregon joined Bag It Corvallis to canvass businesses on Monday.

Below is a copy of the letter of support that we are asking local businesses to sign:

January, 2012

Mayor Julie Manning and Corvallis City Council
501 SW Madison Ave. PO Box 1083
Corvallis, OR 97339-1083

RE: Corvallis Ordinance: “Encourage Reusable Bags and Ban Single-use Plastic Carryout Bags”

Dear Mayor and City Council:

We the undersigned business owners and small businesses in Corvallis, Oregon value the natural beauty of our state and want our environment and coasts to stay pristine. We want to express our support of a Single-Use Checkout Plastic Bag Ban here in Corvallis for the following reasons:

1. Cost Incentive. Retailers spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to provide single-use bags to customers. For example, some supermarkets spend up to $1,500 to $6,000 a month just to provide single-use bags to their customers at check-out. Many major grocery stores realize this significant cost burden and offer discount incentives to customers who bring their own bags.
a. Stores typically pay 2 to 5 cents per plastic bag and 5 to 9 cents per paper bag. This can add up.. Therefore a minimal cost incentive of 5-cents per paper bag is reasonable. It is an incentive for people who forget their canvas bag, and to partially compensate retailers.

2. Environment.
As businesses, we are also concerned with the environmental and economic impacts of plastic bag pollution in inland and coastal communities throughout the country. Americans use an estimated 102 billion single-use plastic bags every year.
a. The decision to recycle our way out of this problem is a false option. Despite efforts to expand recycling programs, a small percentage of single-use plastic bags are recycled. The rest of these bags end up in our landfills; as litter, clogging storm-drain systems; or make their way to our waterways and ocean.
b. It is estimated that 60–80% of all marine debris, and 90% of floating debris is plastic. Plastic lasts for hundreds of years in our environment and may never biodegrade in the ocean. As a result, it poses a persistent threat to wildlife, killing millions of marine animals like sea turtles and sea birds every year.

3. It’s Time. Portland has banned single-use plastic checkout bags, and cities across the state are moving forward with their own initiatives. Now is the time for Corvallis to demonstrate similar leadership in support of a sustainable future for all people and our natural environment.