Grocery bags #8216;a problem#8217;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ISLE OF WIGHT—The dilemma of what to do with plastic grocery bags is not just a local issue any more, said Isle of Wight Supervisor Tom Wright at last week’s board meeting.

“I understand a little town in England has just banned them, and the word is that London is thinking strongly about doing the same thing.”

Wright made his remarks following a recycling program presentation by Bill Parker, vice president of operations at Farm Fresh in Smithfield.

“It is a problem,” Parker said, “and we are here to offer some alternatives, or options, if you will.”

Parker said his store was already recycling materials like cardboard and had the capacity to do the same thing with plastic.

“There are recycling bins at each store and our stores can be used as a collection point for the bags.”

He said his company would be willing to spearhead a community awareness program and serve on an advisory committee to study the issue.

Another idea Parker offered included a program where volunteers could assist in picking up plastic bags during cotton harvest season.

Supervisor Wright was in favor of getting some relief for farmers as soon as possible.

“It’s not good to seed an entire field and find out when you’ve finished that your seed sower is clogged with a plastic bag.

This means of course that the entire field has to be resown.”

Delegate William Barlow noted as he addressed the board that the plastic bag issue is now a world-wide problem.

“It has been identified as a problem in the General Assembly and we are studying it,” he said.