On Air Radio Debate over Banning Plastic Bags

The Vice President of Operations, Mark McClure had an on-air radio debate on the subject of banning plastic bags and whether or not that is a good thing.

Taking part in a friendly debate about plastic grocery bags is a welcomed encounter for Mr. McClure, but taking part in a debate over the airwaves, live on the radio with a potential of 4 million people listening in is quite an undertaking. Discussing the emotionally charged topic of plastic bag bans was something that he is very aware of but not necessarily one in which he considers himself a voice for the entire grocery bag industry.The debate took place live on air on the program the "Fairness Doctrine" through WMNF 88.5 FM with Jennifer Sullivan as the moderator and Friedemann Buschbeck who represents the Green party of Tampa and is also a supporter of the bag ban. Johnny Miller, Vice Mayor of Fernandina Beach Florida, did call in and also supported  the bag ban as well.Mark was able to do a good job keeping the topic focused and the conversation calm on what the debate was suppose to be on... The Bag Ban. The liberal agenda of both the radio station and the listeners was a mountain of misconceptions and propaganda that Mark had very little time to try to scale in the short amount of time that he was given especially with a politician calling in and capitalizing on a great deal of the air time that a politician normally wants and even he was mistaken about facts like the supposed "Great Plastic Patch" floating in the North Pacific. This is a complete misnomer that has been spread and continues to do so because of the emotional and barely related pictures that are circulated of a single turtle and wildlife being caught up in plastic debris. Out of respect for Mr. McClure being a guest on the show Ms. Sullivan would have been in her right to have interrupted Mr. Miller and allowed Mark to be able to defend the accusations brought on by Johnny.

  1. Friedemann was lacking in scientifically proven FACTS - except his viewpoint on how other countries are jailing users and banning plastic bags, or placing fees on plastic bag users.
  2. Plastic industry lobbying was mentioned - which Mark came back with a retort on HOW much the Green party spends/or has spent in the past - to benefit their agenda.
  3. As a counterpoint to Friedman's claim of only using plastic bags for 20 minutes, how many things we have or purchase (on a regular basis) and use for only 20 minutes and throw away.  Let's not forget, charcoal, pads, silly string, toothpaste, whipped cream, personal checks, matches, band-aids, stamps, fertilizer, road flares.  Just a few of the MANY items.  Are all these items able to be recycled?  If not, what is their "environment impact?"  Where is the line drawn?
  4. The FIRST caller - who just HAPPENED to be the Vice Mayor Johnny Miller - admitted that he was suppose to be a part of the debate. Mark deftly handled Johnny's 3 minute attempt (no FACTS present) on ensuring that a ban on plastic bags was needed.
  5. The timing that the radio station allowed for their agenda was approximately 16 minutes of airtime to Mark's approximate 9 minutes.

The second caller made a false statement.  He said, "We know where his funding comes from.  [He] obviously is paid to speak on behalf of the plastic industry."  He did not know the truth about Mark, and has not looked into FACTS, once again.  He was given over 2.5 minutes to make his point.Friedemann used comments like... MOST Americans have a welcomed attitude toward banning. How does he know "Most Americans"? What are the facts? He said during the debate regarding the ban, that he didn't want a ban - only a fee on plastic bags to show the real cost of a plastic bag. He indicated that it cost two cents to make the bag but 70 cents to clean up the bags.  This again is a false statement as there are NO FACTS to support it.A surprise to both the host and the guest was that International Plastics has an Earth Friendly products page. All of the products listed on that page are very earth friendly. They are either biodegradable or are 100% recyclable. 4 of the products that International Plastics prides itself on and relates to the radio debate would be the biodegradable Zip Locking bags, the BioTuf Environmental Trash Bags, the pre-printed earth friendly "Thank You" t-shirt bag and the earth friendly plain grocery bags.OK... That's our 2 cents - or should it be said... a plastic bag worth of comments.How green is that grocery bag ban? An assessment of the environmental and economic effects of grocery bag ban and taxes.Sources:www.news.discovery.comwww.wmnf.orgwww.reason.orgwww.interplas.com/packaging-earth-friendly