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Plastic vs. Reusable Bags

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Michelle Weaver

on 6 May 2010

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Transcript of Plastic vs. Reusable Bags

They sit balled up and stuffed into pantries, clutter landfills flap from trees, float in the breeze, clog roadside drains, drift in the water, etc. Plastic bags are convenient only from the time your groceries are piled in them, brought out to your car, and carried inside. Sure, they can be used as some people’s lunch bags, trash liners, but they all still end up somewhere where they cause more harm then good. Plastic bags are becoming a victim of there success. The industry is at a stage where its success has caused concerns and these concerns need to be addressed. Why would you want to give up the plastic bags? How to solve the problem: charging a 5 or 10 cent tax on each plastic bag will have many advantages economically, socially, and politically. Economically: charging a tax on plastic bags will cut down on there use, which has environmental benefits. It will also make reusable bags more common, and collect taxes for those who still want to use the plastic bags. To create each plastic bag, it requires petroleum and natural gas. Both non renewable sources that increases our dependency on foreign suppliers. Other countries are already doing it. Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and Bangladesh have heavily taxed the bags or banned there use outright. In Ireland they have a 15 cent tax (about 20 cents American). This was introduced during March of 2002, and it has reduced plastic bag use by about 95%. Where's your bag? When retailers "give away" plastic bags, you aren't really getting them for free. The extra cost is reflected in the higher priced items throughout the store. http://video.foxnews.com/v/3924833/plastic-bag-tax Social: Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtles and other marine deaths every year when the bags are mistaken as food. The manufacture of plastic bags adds tons of carbon emissions into the year annually. Approximately 60 to 100 million barrels of oil are required to make the worlds plastic bags each year. Also paper bags wouldn’t resolve this problem. While they are recyclable, they take more energy, and more water to produce and recycle. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/environment/going-green-environment/conservation-in-action/norton-bag-env.html Facts about how plastic bags effect our environment Political: A thought coming from a New York City Council member was to force all grocers to sell reusable bags as an option (some grocery stores already do this). Also printing the words “please return this bag to a participating store for recycling” in three inch letters on all plastic bags. Also for grocers to file regular reports with the Sanitation Department, detailing the number of plastic bags they college, transport, and recycle, otherwise receive a $2,000 a day fine. Also, Washington, D.C. has already set a 5 cent tax on plastic bags this last January. It proved to make a phenomenal impact. The average number of bags handed out in grocers cut from 22.5 million to only 3 million. The tax also has generated $150,000 in revenue, which is being used to clean up the Anacostia River. Sources http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/09/0902_030902_plasticbags.html






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