on this day 5/31 1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”


1433 – Sigismund was crowned emperor of Rome.

1854 – The Kansas-Nebraska Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

1859 – The Philadelphia Athletics were formally organized to play the game of Town Ball.

1859 – In London, Big Ben went into operation.

1870 – E.J. DeSemdt patented asphalt.

1879 – New York’s Madison Square Garden opened.

1880 – The first U.S. national bicycle society was formed in Newport, RI. It was known as the League of American Wheelman.

1884 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented “flaked cereal.”

1889 – In Johnstown, PA, more than 2,200 people died after the South Fork Dam collapsed.

1900 – U.S. troops arrived in Peking to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.

1902 – The Boer War ended between the Boers of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty of Vereeniging.

1907 – The first taxis arrived in New York City. They were the first in the United States.

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its first conference.

1910 – The Union of South Africa was founded.

1913 – The 17th Amendment went into effect. It provided for popular election of U.S. senators.

1915 – A German zeppelin made an air raid on London.

1927 – Ford Motor Company produced the last “Tin Lizzie” in order to begin production of the Model A.

1929 – In Beverly, MA, the first U.S. born reindeer were born.

1941 – The first issue of “Parade: The Weekly Picture Newspaper” went on sale.

1943 – “Archie” was aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System for the first time.

1947 – Communists seized control of Hungary.

1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”

1961 – South Africa became an independent republic.

1962 – Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel. Eichmann was a Gestapo official and was executed for his actions in the Nazi Holocaust.

1970 – An earthquake in Peru killed tens of thousands of people.

1974 – Israel and Syria signed an agreement on the Golan Heights.

1977 – The trans-Alaska oil pipeline was finished after 3 years of construction.

1979 – Zimbabwe proclaimed its independence.

1994 – The U.S. announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.

1995 – Bob Dole singled out Time Warner for “the marketing of evil” in movies and music. Dole later admitted that he had not seen or heard much of what he had been criticizing.

2003 – In North Carolina, Eric Robert Rudolph was captured. He had been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for five years for several bombings including the 1996 Olympic bombing.

STATE PLASTIC AND PAPER BAG LEGISLATION ~ What’s the status in 2017


Fees, Taxes and Bans | Recycling and Reuse

States are continuing to consider strategies to reduce the number of plastic carry-out bags from grocery stores and other retail outlets. Some states are targeting paper bags as well. Regulating bags can mitigate harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes and the wildlife that inhabit them. Reducing bag use can also relieve pressure on landfills and waste management.

Bans and Fees

In August 2014, California became the first state legislature to enact legislation imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 30. The ban will take effect on July 1, 2015.

person holding plastic bagsIn addition, there will be a 10 cent minimum charge for recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags at certain locations. A detailed summary of the law can be found below. In addition to California, a de facto statewide ban exists in Hawaii as all of the most populous counties in the state prohibit non-biodegradable plastic bags at checkout, as well as paper bags containing less than 40 percent recycled material. Bans in Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties took effect between 2011 and 2013. Retailers in Honolulu County have until July 1, 2015, to make the change.

In 2009, the District of Columbia enacted a law to ban the distribution of disposable, non-recyclable plastic carry-out bags and set a fee of 5 cents for distribution of all other disposable bags.

In 2009, North Carolina banned plastic bags for the Outer Banks region, a chain of barrier islands off its coast. However, in 2011, the state passed legislation to temporarily suspend that ban due to a tornado that hit Dunn, North Carolina, which is the major distribution center for paper bags in the area. The ban has yet to be restored.

2014 Legislation Summary

As mentioned above, California lawmakers passed the first statewide plastic bag ban in the United States in 2014. Senate Bill 270 was signed by the governor on September 30, 2014. Legislation is pending in New Jersey and Puerto Rico that would also ban single-use bags. New Jersey legislators are also considering a $0.05 fee on disposable carryout bags offered at the point of sale.

Recycling Programs and Requirements

States have continued to propose and enact legislation relating to labeling, recycling, and reusing plastic bags. In 2010, California passed legislation that requires manufacturers of compostable plastic bags to ensure that the bag is readily and easily identifiable from other bags. That same year, Delaware enacted an At-Store Recycling Program. The legislation encourages the use of reusable bags, requires stores to establish an at-store recycling program that provides an opportunity for customers of the store to return clean plastic bags, requires that plastic carry-out bags display a recycling message and provides fines and penalties for noncompliance. Illinois passed similar legislation, the Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act, in 2012, but it was vetoed by the Governor.

Energy and Environment Legislation Tracking Database 


 Enacted Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation 

state map of legislation

Enacted Plastic Bag State Legislation Summaries

California

Statewide Ban on Single-Use Carryout Bags (2014 CA S 270)

Prohibits certain large stores, as of July 1, 2015, from providing a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer, with specified exceptions. Prohibits a store from selling or distributing a recycled paper bag, reusable plastic bag or compostable bag at the point of sale unless the store makes that bag available for purchase for at least $0.10 and certain conditions are met. The ban does not apply to handle-less plastic bags used to protect meat and produce from damaging or contaminating other purchased items. After July 1, 2016, these prohibitions and requirements will take effect for smaller stores such as convenience food stores. Revenue will be retained by the store to offset costs associated with providing recycled or reusable bags and complying with other provisions of the law. Persons or entities that violate the law may be subject to civil penalties imposed by the city, county or state of California.

Requires reusable grocery bags sold to customers at the point of sale to be made by a certified producer and to meet certain criteria with regard to the bag’s durability, material, labeling and heavy metal content. In addition to these requirements, a reusable bag made from plastic film, as opposed to other natural or synthetic fibers, must meet certain benchmarks for recycled material content by 2016 and 2020. Beginning July 1, 2015, bags made from plastic film may not be sold or distributed unless certified by a third party entity. Applications for certification must include specified information that verifies, among other things, the incorporation of clean postconsumer recycled material.

Declares that it occupies the whole field of regulation of reusable grocery bags, single-use carryout bags, and recycled paper bags and prohibits a local public agency from enforcing or implementing an ordinance, resolution, regulation, or rule adopted on or after September 1, 2014, relating to those bags, against a store unless expressly authorized. Allows a local public agency that has adopted such an ordinance prior to September 1, 2014, to continue to enforce and implement that ordinance or other type of regulation, but preempts any amendments other than to increase the bag charge at covered stores.

A sum of $2,000,000 is appropriated from the Recycling Market Development Revolving Loan Subaccount to the state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to provide loans for the creation and retention of jobs and economic activity in California for the manufacture and recycling of plastic reusable grocery bags that use recycled content. (09/30/2014 – Enacted)

Compostable or Marine Degradable Plastic Bags (2010 CA S 228)
Requires a manufacturer of a compostable plastic bag to ensure that the bag is readily and easily identifiable from other bags. Prohibits a compostable plastic bag sold in the state from displaying a chasing arrow resin identification code or recycling type of symbol in any form. Requires a manufacturer to comply with these requirements only to the extent that labeling requirements do not conflict with federal requirements. (09/28/2010 – Enacted)

Recycling: Plastic Products (2012 CA S 567)
Prohibits the sale of a plastic product labeled as compostable, home compostable, or marine degradable unless it meets standard specifications or a specified standard, or the plastic product is labeled with a qualified claim and the plastic product meets that standard. Prohibits the sale of a plastic product that is labeled as biodegradable, degradable, decomposable, or as otherwise specified. Provides for a civil penalty for a violation. Provides for the continuation of plastic bag labeling provisions. (10/08/2011 – Enacted)

At-Store Recycling Program (2006 CA A 2449)
Retail stores must adopt an at-store recycling program. Plastic bags used at retailers must have clearly printed “Please Return to a Participating Store for Recycling” on the bag. Retailers must also make reusable bags available for purchase by the customer, in lieu of plastic bags. (Repealed January 1, 2020)

Delaware

At Store Recycling Program (2009 DE H 15; Amended by 2014 DE H 198)
Encourages the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers, requires a store to establish an at-store recycling program that provides an opportunity for a customer of the store to return clean plastic bags, requires all plastic carryout bags to display a recycling message, requires stores to maintain records of collection and recycling of plastic bags, prohibits imposition of a plastic bag fee upon a compliant store, provides for fines and penalties. (08/17/2009 – Enacted)

Recycling Program (2012 DE SCR 24)
Requests a report and suggestions for improvement on the at-store recycling program of plastic carryout bags for the purpose of improving the program and bettering the environment. (06/29/2011 – Enacted)

District of Columbia

Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act (2010 DC B 150)

Protects the aquatic and environmental assets of the District of Columbia, to ban the use of disposable non-recyclable plastic carryout bags, to establish a fee on all other disposable carryout bags provided by grocery stores, drug stores, liquor stores, restaurants, and food vendors, to give the Mayor the authority to implement rules and procedures to collect the fee, to establish a non-lapsing recurring Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund. (09/23/2009 – Enacted)

Maine

Checkout Bags (2010 ME S 131)

Convenes a work group, through a partnership with state agencies and other appropriate entities, to work together towards a viable solution to the checkout bag issue to achieve environmental benefits, maintain financial viability for manufacturers and retailers and avoid cost impacts for consumers, provides for a report to the legislature. (05/19/2009 – Enacted)

Recycling Plastic Bags (1991 ME LD 1166)
Retailers may only provide customers with plastic bags if there is a receptacle to collect used plastic bags with twenty feet of the entrance and all the plastic bags collected are then recycled.

New York

Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act (2008 NY A 11725)
Retailers of stores are to establish in-store recycling programs that provide an opportunity for the customer to return clean plastic carryout bags to be recycled. The plastic carryout bags provided by the store must have printed on them “Please return to a Participating Store for Recycling.”

North Carolina

Plastic Bag Use (2010 NC S 1018)

Reduces plastic and non-recycled paper bag use on North Carolina’s outer banks (a sea turtle nesting area). A retailer subject to G.S. 130A-309.102 shall display a sign in a location viewable by customers containing the following notice: “[county name] County discourages the use of single-use plastic and paper bags to protect our environment from excess litter and greenhouse gases. We would appreciate our customers using reusable bags, but if you are not able to, a 100% recycled paper bag will be furnished for your use.” Please see additional NC bills for identical language regarding the use of plastic bags and fines. (06/24/2009 – Enacted)

Plastic Bag Management (2011 NC S 146)
Suspends the ban on plastic bags in certain coastal areas due to a disruption in the supply of paper bags because of the severe tornados. The major distribution center for paper bags used by retailers in the areas subject to the ban was located in Dunn, NC, but was severely damaged and rendered unusable by the tornados of April 16, 2011. The General Assembly finds that the suspension of the requirement until the supply chain for paper bags is restored is in the public interest. This act becomes effective April 16, 2011. (04/20/2011 – Enacted)
**Suspends the above bill.

Rhode Island

Promotion of Paper Bag Usage (2008 RI S 2565)
To decrease use of plastic bags, this legislation promotes the use of paper bags by retailers. Retail establishments must offer the use of a paper bag to the consumer. Every retail establishment that provides customers with plastic bags must provide conveniently located receptacles where customers can return their clean and dry plastic bags to be recycled. Failure to comply with these laws is punishable with fines up to $500.

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Hannity is lashing out at his advertisers and Fox


 Media Matters for America - Take Action

It seems like Sean Hannity is trying to get fired while injuring Fox News in the process. Since last week, he’s organized his most ardent supporters to attack his own advertisers, threatened Fox News with a “We Go If He Goes” campaign, and is now aggressively promoting a cable-news-wide advertiser boycott. [1]

Hannity’s fans are harassing his own network, his own advertisers, and his potential advertisers – and ad buyers are surely taking notice. Media Matterswarned that Hannity was volatile and bad business. Now they don’t have to take our word for it: Many companies are currently experiencing first-hand that doing business with Hannity means subjecting your brand to one potential public relations crisis after another.

Spread the word: Read and share my interview with Fast Company about how Sean Hannity’s volatility is scaring off advertisers.

Ultimately, Hannity’s efforts to intimidate everyone he does business with will only further marginalize him at Fox and make advertisers flee faster. Despite his attacks and threats, companies are still pulling their ads from Hannity’s show – including three more companies in the past 24 hours. And it’s not clear what relationships he’ll have left when it’s all over.

Onward!

Angelo Carusone
@GoAngelo
President
Media Matters for America

Toxic plastic found in the world’s favorite fish


Mediterranean Sea Tuna. Photo: PBS / Elena Grecucci

By John R. Platt
7 May 2015

(Takepart) – For the first time, plastic particles have been found in the stomachs of tuna and other fish that are a staple of the human diet.

More than 18 percent of sampled bluefin, albacore, and swordfish caught in the Mediterranean Sea and tested in 2012 and 2013 carried levels of plastic pollution in their bodies, according to a study published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

All three species migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, so these plastic particles could make their way onto the plates of American consumers. The plastics found in the fish contained phthalates, nonylphenol, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants, and other chemicals that previous research has linked to endocrine disruption, low reproductive rates, and other health risks.

A 2010 study by French and Belgian marine biologists estimated that 250 billion pieces of microscopic plastic were floating in the Mediterranean. A 2014 expedition by Gabriel Gorsky of Pierre-et-Marie Curie University found that “there is not one parcel of the Mediterranean Sea that is devoid of plastic or plastic fragments.” Another study published last year estimated that all of the world’s oceans combined carry more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic pollution.

The current study of large pelagic fish (which live in the open sea, away from the shores or the bottom of the ocean) examined 56 swordfish, 36 bluefin, and 31 albacore that had been caught in the Mediterranean. Of those fish, seven swordfish, 11 bluefin, and four albacore contained plastics in their stomachs.

The plastics varied in size from large pieces more than 25 millimeters wide to microplastics smaller than 5 millimeters. The swordfish were more likely to have ingested large fragments of plastic, while the albacore ingested mostly microplastics.

Most of the pieces were white or transparent, while some “yellowish” plastics were found in the stomachs of the swordfish and bluefin.

As large, “top of the food chain” predators, the fish could have picked up plastic that had first been eaten by smaller fish; a study published last year found that Mediterranean bogue, an important prey species for swordfish, ingest large quantities of microplastics. The researchers, from the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Italy, wrote that other plastics could have been ingested while the tuna chased schools of prey fish into shallow waters, where floating plastics are more abundant. [more]

Toxic Plastic Found in the World’s Favorite Fish


ABSTRACT: This study focuses, for the first time, on the presence of plastic debris in the stomach contents of large pelagic fish (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus and Thunnus alalunga) caught in the Mediterranean Sea between 2012 and 2013. Results highlighted the ingestion of plastics in the 18.2% of samples. The plastics ingested were microplastics (<5 mm), mesoplastics (5–25 mm) and macroplastics (>25 mm).

These preliminary results represent an important initial phase in exploring two main ecotoxicological aspects: (a) the assessment of the presence and impact of plastic debris on these large pelagic fish, and (b) the potential effects related to the transfer of contaminants on human health.

First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea

Source: http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/05/toxic-plastic-found-in-worlds-favorite.html

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace and bits of plastic in our oceans


Bits of plastic called microbeads are polluting our oceans.

Take Action

Take action today to ban the use of microbeads in the US.

Take Action

greenpeaceEvery time you brush your teeth, you might be unknowingly adding tiny bits of plastic to our oceans.

These bits of plastic are called microbeads and you can find them in everything from face soaps to body washes to toothpastes. And while they’re almost invisible to the naked eye, they’re causing serious problems for our waterways and oceans (and us!).

Most wastewater treatment can’t filter out the tiny microbeads — meaning they journey from your bathroom drains into waterways. Once there, they end up in the bellies of fish or other marine life and are passed along the food chain.

National legislation has been introduced in Congress to ban the sale of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads. It’s part of an ever-growing movement that needs your voice.

Tell your federal Representative and Senators today to support the Microbead Free Waters Act and to solve the problem of these polluting plastics.

This doesn’t end in the water. Today’s plastic face wash is in tomorrow’s sushi.

Many fish species that humans eat are known to consume these microbeads at an alarming rate, and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue.

The toxins absorbed by plastic microbeads include pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more. And all that ends up in the oceans — and on our plates. We have to act.

A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it! Take action today to ban plastic microbeads from everyday personal care products.

The Story of Stuff Project, an organization I founded, is leading a coalition of over 100 groups to get these tiny plastic beads out of everyday products. Greenpeace is proud to be a part of this coalition.

This is a perfect example of the underlying problem with our current economic system and the culture it helps create. Natural alternatives to microbeads exist. But plastic microbeads are smoother than natural alternatives like apricot shells, jojoba beans and pumice.

Smoother is better for the companies making these products because smoother means these cleansers will be less effective at exfoliating… which means you can use them everyday… which means you buy more of the product! 

Sadly, it also means poisoned oceans and a poisoned food supply. Plastic pollution in our waterways has become one of the great perils facing our environment. We can do something about it.

Take a minute right now and tell your elected federal representatives to support the Microbead Free Waters Act.

Thanks for all you do.

Annie Leonard
Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
P.S. Tiny pieces of plastic called microbeads are polluting our waterways and oceans. Tell your elected federal representatives to ban microbeads by supporting the Microbead Free Waters Act today!