Plastic Bags

The death of a baby dolphin over the weekend off Fort Myers Beach may have been caused by plastic that filled its stomach. The news comes at the same time moves by cities to ban single-use plastics may be killed by state lawmakers.

Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

Apr 9, 2019

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Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

Darrell Blatchley received a call from the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources early Friday morning reporting that it had a young Cuvier's beaked whale that was weak and vomiting blood.

Within a few hours it was dead.

Blatchley, a marine biologist and environmentalist based in the Philippine city of Davao, gathered his team to drive two hours to where the whale had washed up.

Plastic garbage from Trader Joe's and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.

It's a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?

For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.

And it wasn't just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world's plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.

RAJANISH KAKADE / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

From toothbrushes, to water bottles, to straws, plastics are a part of everyday life. And yet the damage they cause to oceans and wildlife is well established. 

MARCO VERCH / FLICKR COMMONS

Delray Beach commissioners voted Tuesday to ban single-use plastic straws in restaurants by mid-2020.

The city is the first in Palm Beach County to pass this kind of ordinance.

Competing bills that concern regulating plastic straws and bags have also reached the state Legislature.

Where using plastic bags can land you a $38,000 fine

Aug 28, 2017
R
Siegfried Modola/Reuters

Discarded plastic bags are a scourge in many places across the globe. But the situation is particularly bad in Kenya. Plastic bags hang from trees and clog waterways. And in Kibera, a slum on the edge of Nairobi, there are entire hills made of them.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

This week on The Florida Roundup...

It's official: Coral Gables is the first city in Florida to enact a ban on plastic bags. Retailers are no longer allowed to supply them or they could be fined up to $500. This is just one of the new local government prohibitions on carrying containers.