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A report on the municipality's website lays out the research of the task force composed of representatives from retail stores, restaurants and lodges. Both plastic and paper bags have adverse consequences. Paper bags come from trees, and plastic from fossil fuels. Paper eventually biodegrades, whereas plastic simply breaks into smaller and smaller particles and can end up in the food chain. But plastic bags require less energy to manufacture and hence create less air and water pollution.
As for recycling, only one to three per cent of plastic bags in the United States are recycled, compared to 10 to 15 per cent of paper bags.
In cost, plastic beats paper. City Market, the largest grocer in Breckenridge, says plastic bags cost one cent each compared to five to 10 cents for paper. However, sturdier, and thicker plastic bags can cost as much as 25 cents a bag.
The task force recommends a voluntary program for smaller retail stores with the goal of reducing bags by 40 per cent within two years and 60 per cent in three years. If those targets are not met, says the task force, the town council should consider what mandates would be necessary to achieve them.
Whistler is also taking up the issue of plastic bags. Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden brought up the issue with the municipal council after meeting with grade-school students. "It's something that I think is worthwhile looking at again," she said. Pique notes that two years ago the council nixed a proposal to ban plastic bags.
Vail Arsonist surrenders
PORTLAND, Ore. — One of three remaining refugees blamed for the 1998 arson of a cafeteria and other ski infrastructure on Vail Mountain has surrendered to authorities.
The Associated Press reports that Rebecca Jeanette Rubin, 39, a Canadian citizen, turned herself into the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash.
She is accused of helping set the fires on Vail Mountain and at federal wild horse corrals in Oregon and California as a member of a cell of animal-rights activists that came together in Eugene, Ore.
School calendar has a lot of openings
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — The school calendar and rapid expansion of outdoor lighting in the business district were in the public discussion in Crested Butte.
The Crested Butte News reports that students in the local schools now get 37 days away from class during the school year, including a week in October and a week at Thanksgiving, but also including days off for staff preparation.
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