Policy on Disposable Plastic Shopping Bags

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Economics

Document 1

On average, plastic bags are normally used on the short-term for about 12 minutes but they persist in landfills and marine waters among other places for thousands of years because they are not readily biodegradable (Anderson). By description, plastics are inexpensive, lightweight and durable materials made from plastic. They are generated using fossil fuel and also demand a huge amount of water and energy for manufacturing and shipment. Ideally, the production process of these plastic bags requires several pounds of fossil fuel as well as billions of tons of water. Subsequently, this production process leads to billions of pounds of solid waste alongside tons of Carbon dioxide annually. Plastic bags have been found to cause serious problems in the oceans in which plastic components supersede the quantity of plankton in the water.

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Pieces of plastics have been found to lead to marine chocking and even death in which organisms confuse the plastic pieces for food and end up with blocked digestive tracts. For instance, according to a study of 370 autopsies on marine species, 1 in every 3 leatherback turtles in San Francisco Bay were found with some type of plastic in their stomach; most commonly "plastic bags" (Anderson). This plastic pollution has been proven have a detrimental effect on hundreds of varying species in marine life and has contributed to global pollution due to the portability of plastic bags and their long lifecycle. Based on the above-mentioned implications, it is undeniable to plastic pollution merits government intervention in order to mitigate this detrimental issue and save the environment from further adverse pollution from disposable plastic shopping bags.

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9 percent (Wagner). Regulations concerning the imposition of fees require producers to pay $0. 01 per bag and this tax/fee imposition enables retailers to hold some of all the accumulated fees (Wagner). While the local governments continue to increase their regulations on plastic shopping bags, eleven states in the U. S have enforced laws to ban the local governments from regulating disposable plastic shopping bags. Others argue that the ban on plastic bags discriminates against the low-income households considering the financial burden that purchasing reusable bags or paying fee could have in these low-income communities (Center Equinox 26). Also, opponents to these regulations argue that the proportion of waste streams and litter consisting of plastic bags is negligible to justify the action to ban plastic bags.

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Lastly, opponents contend that a ban on plastic bags would negatively affect the economy as it will promote joblessness especially within the plastic manufacturing company that will be put at a standstill. A number of jurisdictions in the U. S have accommodated the anti-plastic bag regulation but not even a single state has successfully implemented the ban on plastic bags or charge fee. Due to the large percentage of emission of CO2 during the production of plastic bags, this process facilitates climate change which has been a critical problem that humanity needs to solve. As such, it is evident that if any change is to happen then people must first be educated on these matters, education is a key policy that must be exhausted and then the rest can follow.

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Conclusion Apparently, the plastic bag ban and fee imposition policies have not been fully effective considering the controversies and repealing of the legislation in states that had initially approved the measures. The issue could be that people are not yet educated as to the reason why the need to abandon plastic bags for safer options such as reusable bags. For this reason, I propose outreach and education before the initiation of the regulations as a new policy and means of improving the effectiveness of the plastic bag ban and fee imposition laws. gov/blog/tag/plastic-bags/. Accessed 28 Feb. "Plastic Shopping Bags & Environmental Impact – The Daily Bag. " Custom Imprinted Reusable Grocery & Shopping Tote Bags - Awesome Wholesale Pricing, www. reusethisbag. "Plastic Bag Bans Are Spreading in the United States.

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