Late on Monday night in a City Council meeting that lasted late into the night, a 6-3 majority of Albuquerque’s City Council voted to end the City’s plastic bag ban. The ban will next go to Mayor Keller who will likely veto it and then send it back to City Council. Assuming that these six councilors hold together for a veto override, the ban will be repealed.
Despite many impassioned pleas by supporters of the ban (many from children seemingly pumped full of fear over climate change), this is the right move by Albuquerque’s City Council. Albuquerque could be a lot cleaner, but that involves eliminating “homeless” encampments and street side beggars as well as just urging people to do a better job of throwing their trash away or preventing it from flying away in our numerous windstorms.
Recycling bags is not likely a real solution, but using the bags for purposes from pet waste to trash can liners is and is actually superior to recycling. As the chart below from Our World in Data shows, the global plastic problem is NOT a result of mismanaged plastics here in the US or in North America.