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Of Parks and Bags

Posted at 9:31 AM on March 11, 2008 by Michael Marchio (3 Comments)

It's got to be a heartbreaker for outdoors enthusiasts that the first time in 30 years our state is considering adding a new state park has to fall during a budget crisis. No, the future looks grim for a Lake Vermilion State Park. U.S. Steel, the company that now owns the 2,500 acres, is asking for $45 million, while the Senate set aside only $100,000 in its version of the bonding bill for the land, and the House, $17.5 million.

Still, the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee is charging valiantly ahead this afternoon, hearing the bill that would establish the park,HF3433, sponsored by David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake).

Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), sponsoring the companion bill, SF3076, has his version awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee, having passed it through the Environment and Natural Resources Committee already.

Another bill being heard in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee this afternoon, HF2746, authored by Rep. John Lesch, would create a recycling program for plastic bags. Under it, any place that distributes plastic bags - like a grocery or convenience store, would have to provide a box to collect used bags.

I think everyone is vaguely aware that plastic bags are wasteful, but the numbers are pretty staggering. Every year, 12 million barrels of oil are used to make 80 billion bags in the United States alone. With gas approaching $4 per gallon, you'd think there would be better places to put that oil to use.

Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul) is sponsoring companion legislation in the Senate, with her SF2800 already out of the Environment committee and awaiting a hearing in Commerce and Consumer protection.

Comments (3)

We, and our dogs, find used plastic bags extremely useful. Anyone seeking to recycle same please reply via PM.

Something I don't get: San Francisco has the nation's highest number of dogs per household, and a ban on plastic shopping bags?

Go Carriers!

Posted by Doug Gray | March 11, 2008 3:37 PM

Good observation Doug, that seems like a recipe for disaster, or at least a whole lot of dirty shoes.

Posted by Michael Marchio | March 12, 2008 11:25 AM

There is a tool called Create Some Space recycle bag hanger that stores are using right now. It allows people to recycle their bags.
The cool bag hanger makes it easy to collect lots of bags while not taking up much space. I don't know were they get them but you can see the name when I walk by.

Posted by ptbo recycler | March 12, 2008 11:34 AM