Letter: Reader disappointed in the Vail Daily’s coverage of Avon bag ban
September 25, 2017
Editor's note: find a cited version of this column at http://www.vaildaily.com.
As an actual Avon resident, I am saddened by the disappointing Sept. 14 Vail Daily story about the town of Avon passing a ban on plastic bags on the first of two readings.
It was said that your reporter, John LaConte, arrived around 20 minutes late to hear all of the opposition to the ban. It was worse that LaConte failed to print anything from the handout of the reasons for my personal opposition to the ban. I specifically asked LaConte to please include the handout to help balance his story. Obviously, that did not happen. Usually LaConte is more fair-minded. I can only surmise that he is for a plastic bag ban and therefore refused to explain opponents' reasoning. This does not bode well for a fair and balanced story.
The town of Avon had previously held two public meetings for residents to attend at the back of the stage in Nottingham Park. The approximately 10 person each turnouts consisted mostly of out-of-town proponents and few, if any, actual residents of Avon. This demonstrated that Avon residents, in my opinion, could care less about banning plastic bags.
Here's what we learned at those two meetings:
• Plastic bags can be recycled. Prior to these meetings, we were falsely lead to believe plastic bags could not be recycled.
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• Polystyrene can be recycled. Prior to these meetings, we were falsely lead to believe polystyrene could not be recycled.
• Styrofoam can be recycled. Prior to these meetings, we were falsely lead to believe Styrofoam could not be recycled.
• We learned that the two largest distributors of plastic bags in Avon, both Wal-Mart and City Market, have product trucks driving back to Denver empty. They are able to carry materials to the Denver recycle centers that recycle plastic bags, polystyrene and Styrofoam.
• The town now admits that plastic bags are not necessarily "single use," as they tried to convince us before.
You know the favorite closing argument at trials: "If they lied before, why should you believe them now."
Elsewhere, we learned:
• Plastic bags take little energy to produce, are made of oil that comes from the ground, and take little space in the landfills, if that was in fact where they ended up.
• "If all the shoppers using plastic bags last year had used paper bags instead, they would have increased the amount of solids, taking up to seven times more space in landfills," according to interplas.com.
• Paper bags are "five to seven times heavier than plastic, and therefore require more trucks to carry them. It's a simple point: heavier loads mean more trucks, which also means more air pollution," according to EcoMyths Alliance.
There is no need for the town to build recycle centers, nor replace plastic bags with paper bags that take lots of energy to produce, nor charge 10 cents for them, etc.
The town should work with Wal-Mart and City Market to provide a recycle area in their parking lots for plastic bags, polystyrene and Styrofoam and have them return those items to Denver recycle centers.
Some council members wrongly believe a 10 cent fee is needed to force you to change your habits. They forget that we presently recycle other recyclable items, without payment, at several recycle centers in Eagle County. They think you are stupid. This ordinance is not needed. The final reading on this ordinance is on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Educated Avon residents are advised to turn out and tell the Avon Town Council to stop this madness.
Michael Cacioppo is an Avon resident.
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