December 11, 2008 | 1:12pm
Mayor John Hickenlooper yesterday announced a Greenprint Denver initiative to promote reusable bags at various city agencies and businesses.
The Denver Public Library, for example, is eliminating the use of plastic bags at all of the branches. And such companies as Safeway, Vitamin Cottage, King Soopers and Wal-Mart have signed onto a five-point plan to help spread the word.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the United States each year. Over 50 million of those are dumped in Denver, reports Better Bags Colorado.
By reducing our plastic bag usage by half, "We can save the amount of petroleum required to drive a car around the earth's equator more than 175 times," says Greenprint Denver director Michele Weingarden. "As we enter the holiday season, this is a great time of year to start using reusable bags and reducing waste. We thank our libraries and grocery stores for leading the way for residents to make this a permanent change."
And a necessary one, if the city is going to meet its goal of reducing landfill waste 30 percent by 2012. --Tyler Nemkov