The question that is lately stumping everyone is whether plastic bags should be banned or not. Plastic bags should not be banned for various reasons. Some of these many reasons include putting a burden on shoppers/users of plastic bags and manufacturers of plastic bags. Another reason is plastic bags aren’t a big factor in our pollution amounts. Lastly, plastic bags are much better for the environment than their alternative, paper bags.
The most important reason plastic bags should be allowed is that they are much better for the environment than their alternative paper bags. In the article “Environment,” it states “For every 7 trucks needed to deliver paper bags, one truck is needed for the same number of plastic bags.” This shows that delivering paper bags lets out a whole six trucks more of greenhouse gasses than plastic bags. Also in the article “Environment” it states “Plastic bags generate 80% less waste than paper bags.” This shows that paper bags put more waste into our land than plastic bags do.
Another reason is that plastic bags aren’t a big factor in our pollution amounts. In the article “The truth about plastic bags,” it states “EPA data shows that plastic shopping bags make up only 0.5 percent of the U.S. municipal waste stream.” This shows that out of 100%, plastic bags only make up half of one percent of our U.S. waste stream! In the article “Environment” it states “According to a study by Keep America Beautiful, many items drive up more litter than plastic bags, including cigarette butts, food wrappers, cups and cans.” This shows that plastic bags make up less litter than many other materials.
Lastly, plastic bags should not be banned because it puts a burden on shoppers/users of plastic bags and manufacturers of plastic bags. In the article “Help stop the bag tax in New York City” it states, “The plastic bag industry employs over 30,000 Americans across the United States, with 1,800 working families in New York State relying on the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector for their livelihoods.” This shows that when we get rid of plastic bags we also get rid of the places where people make them. That means getting rid of the jobs that people rely on for food, water, shelter, and clothing. Putting a ban on plastic bags will also affect the people who use plastic bags. It’s hard to always have a reusable bag on hand. Also, in emergencies like a sudden hurricane, we need to stock up on essential items like food and water. In these situations we don’t have time to stop for reusable bags, and we’re buying lots of needed items so paying an extra 10 cents for each plastic bag we need is a waste of money and just not helpful. This ban affects everyone including low income New Yorkers. This means that people who don’t have the extra money to spend on plastic bags still have to pay 10 whole cents for each plastic bag they use. Ten cents may not seem like a lot, but it can and will make a huge impact on the economy.
This is why we can’t ban plastic bags for all the reasons and evidence provided above. It puts a burden on shoppers/users of plastic bags and manufacturers of plastic bags, plastic bags aren’t even a factor in our pollution amounts, and plastic bags are much better than their alternative paper bags. Some still might say that plastic bags are one use thing, but are they? The clear answer is no. Plastic bags are 100% recyclable and have many other uses than a grocery bag.
Here are some ways you can reuse your plastic bags from “So many ways to reuse plastic bags” & “60+ Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags:”
Donate them to local food pantries and food banks (they are in great need of them)
Reuse them as small garbage can bags
Pack lunches in them
Put ice in the bag and keep in fridge for ice pack
Reuse for more groceries!
Now it’s up to you. What will you do to stop the bag tax in New York City?