by Gerry ortega
An informative essay on the negative effects on plastics on our environment.
March 22, 2018
Plastic Bag tax
The plastic bags have become ubiquitous of the American grocery shopping experience since 1960 becoming the most preferred method of carrying your groceries home (Sarah 1). People now believe that these plastic bags do more harm than good, as they have been known to pollute the environment; opposers argue that these bags are harmless as most are recyclable. Although many bags may be recyclable, many aren't being recycled instead cluttering our streets and hurting our planet. I propose we should tax all plastic bags as to discourage the use of this item.
The taxing on plastic bags in grocery stores is sure to bring down the amount of pollution. Pollution is the amount of plastics that find themselves in our cities or in our oceans. These products are known to leach chemicals in our soil and take 1000s of years to decompose (Doug 1). A plastic bag tax implemented in Ireland in 2002 has reported significantly lower plastic litter a 95% reduction in plastic bag litter (Do Plastic Bag 3). This shows that as the usage of the bags goes down the litter they make will to. With fewer plastics littering the area this will decrease the amount of chemicals leached in our planet and make earth a better place for everyone.
The taxing of Plastic bags has the capability of helping our wildlife. Plastic bags have become a treat to our wildlife (Do Plastic Bag 3), Animals eat the plastics mistaking it for food and suffering from Breathing and digestion problems. We have a moral obligation to help, protect, and shelter animals as they are not responsible for the abundance of the plastics and they shouldn't suffer because of our mistake. If this tax where to be implemented this would discourage the use of the bags and lead to fewer plastic litter and ultimately benefit our wildlife.
The production of this product is quite wasteful as its creation requires a lot of fossil fuel a resource we are running out of and cannot be replenished just to be disposed of shortly after (Do Plastic Bag 3). This makes no sense especially considering that we already have a ready alternative the reusable bag. This bag can be used repeatedly unlike disposable plastic bags which are typically thrown out after use. Recyclable bags are just as convenient and do not harm our environment, wildlife and aren't as resource intensive as plastic bags.
Critics of the implementation of a tax on plastic bags argue that paper bags and other paper products account for 20 percent of toxic air released (Doug 1). Although this may be true people are moving towards more durable reusable bags as the can be used multiple times, a new bag is not required every trip to the grocery store. Paper bags are made from renewable sources, unlike the fossil fuel based plastic bags.
In conclusion, plastic bags should be taxed as to discourage their use by consumers and replaced with reusable bags as. The plastic bags generate an incredible amount of pollution which is not only harmful to our environment but also an eyesore. To ensure the safety of our wildlife as these produces have been known to be mistaken for food by animals and cause ill effects. The manufacturing of plastic bags in an inefficient use of resources as these products are dependent on non-renewable fossil fuels.
"Do Plastic Bag Bans Work?" Scientific American, 14 Oct. 2014, www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-plastic-bag-bans-work/.
Granger, Trey. "The Laws on Plastic Bags: To Ban or Tax?" Earth911.Com, 4 Aug. 2017, earth911.com/business-policy/laws-plastic-bags-ban-tax/.
Laskow, Sarah. "How the Plastic Bag Became So Popular." The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Oct. 2014, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/how-the-plastic-bag-became-so-popular/381065/.
Palmer, Doug. "Preliminary Study Suggests Chicago's Bag Tax Reduces Disposable Bag Use by over 40 Percent." Www.ideas42.Org, Apr. 2014, www.ideas42.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Bag-tax-results-memo-PUBLIC.FINAL_.pdf.
Zumbach, Lauren. "Paper or Plastic? Chicago Bag Tax Is Encouraging Shoppers to Say 'Neither'." Chicagotribune.com, 7 Aug. 2017, www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-chicago-bag-tax-use-declined-0808-biz-20170807-story.html.