Progressive plastics policies proceed

Last week, the New York City Council passed the first comprehensive update to the City’s recycling legislation since 1989.  The biggest addition to the curbside recycling program will be the Department of Sanitation‘s (DSNY) capacity to recycle all rigid plastic containers, including those used to hold laundry detergent, motor oil and yogurt—but as we noted before, that capacity won’t be real until the completion of a new recycling facility in Brooklyn, expected in 2012.

Not to be shown up by New York’s gradual steps toward greater waste responsibility, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is now considering legislation that would ban all retailers in the city from using plastic bags.  The legislation would expand on a three year-old initiative that bans large supermarkets and chain drugstores from using plastic bags.  The city’s Department of the Environment estimates that approximately 100 million plastic bags per year have been eliminated from the waste stream through that initial ban.

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