How Plastic Bag Ordinances Help Us All

How Plastic Bag Ordinances Help Us All

There is a lot of debate around plastic bag ordinances and while there are certainly people who passionately feel such laws are a good and necessary choice, there are plenty of folks who disagree. Each ordinance is different too, some laws prohibit disposable plastic bags while others levy a fee on each single-use plastic bag handed out. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to plastic bag ordinances, but ultimately these measures help us all.

Less Trash Helps the Planet

Plastic bag ordinances reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. Fewer plastic bags translate into less trash destined for landfills so these massive piles of trash will not continue to grow at such breakneck speeds. Fewer plastic bags also means there is less litter. Discarded trash is an eyesore and makes areas look rundown. Litter also poses a major risk to animals and their habitats as well as causing flooding when they get caught in drains and offering breeding grounds for mosquitos who may carry disease.

Utilizing reusable bags made from recycled materials help the planet by finding a new use for plastic and cloth materials that may have used up their initial usefulness, but still have something to give. Reusable bags constructed from sustainable materials are biodegradable and safe for the planet.

Bag Ordinances May Help Your Wallet

The cost of the disposable plastic bags handed out at the store is factored into the prices of goods, so shoppers are paying for the bags even though they do not appear as a line item on the receipt. Stores that do not offer single-use bags have lower prices because they do not need to pass this expense on. When a ban goes into action, stores no longer need to stock single-use plastic bags, so it is possible this savings will impact prices to the benefit of the shopper.

Bag Ordinance Critiques are Not Effective

How Plastic Bag Ordinances Help Us AllA major criticism levied at plastic bag ordinances is that they negatively impact plastic bag manufacturing and cost jobs. Reducing jobs is a major issue that should be taken seriously, but it is also worth noting that plastic bag manufacturers are free to adapt their business to create a product that consumers want.  Furthermore, many plastic bag ordinances include training and assistance to manufacturers and their employees.

Long Term Plan to Benefit Everyone

Plastic bag laws either in the forms of ban that prohibit single-use plastic bags or fees that levy a fee on each bag handed out give shoppers the ability to solve the plastic problem. Less trash and less litter have clear benefits for everyone. Change can be difficult to accept and tricky to implement, but keeping things the way they are offers no advantage.


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