The Two Sides of the Bag Ban Debate
The Pros and Cons of the Bag Ban Debate
Oftentimes, implementing a single-use plastic bag ban is easier said than done. Some cities love the idea and the ban passes by a landslide, while others really don’t like the idea and fight it. Even once a ban or fee is passed, the debate still is not over for some municipalities, like Huntington Beach and Dallas whose bag bans were recently overturned. We’ve analyzed the pros and cons and plastic bag bans in the past and while we feel bans are definitely the way to go, we decided to revisit this discussion since there are clearly people opposed to banning plastic bags.
The Plastic Problem
All of the problems associated with plastic bags have not changed. These bags are constructed using non-renewable resources; they are seldom recycled and much more likely to end up in landfills or as litter. Over time, plastic bags in landfills or littering waterways or countryside will break apart into tinier pieces that eventually will leach chemicals. These chemicals or the actual plastic pieces will find their way into the food chain. The ramifications of plastic in the food chain are not yet known, but there is no reason to think this will benefit the food chain.
Plastic bags are relatively cheap when you look at the price per bag, but when you tally up how many bags you use on each trip to the store and total up how many bags you use per year that expense really adds up. This isn’t a cost you see itemized on your receipt, but retailers work this expense into the prices, so ultimately you are paying for each and every disposable plastic bag you tote home.
The Ban Problem
Opponents to bag bans cite the impact on jobs as the primary reason bans are an issue. It is true that banning disposable plastic bags reduces the need of single-use bags and could jeopardize manufacturing jobs. It is also worth noting that with some changes, many plastic bag manufacturers could make thicker, more durable bags and continue to operate. Bans create an increased demand for reusable bags, so there is a need to manufacture reusable bags.
The expense of reusable bags is also cited as a reason to not pass disposable bag bans. Most shoppers need several reusable bags, which can go for where from 99-cents to a few dollars. A reusable bag should normally last for several years. Many bans include language that fees do not apply to people receiving public assistance. Many organizations give reusable bags away when a ban becomes effective. Some retailers even give a discount to shoppers who bring their own reusable bags, so it is possible for a customer to make back the money spent purchasing bags over time.
Two Sides to Every Story
There are certainly two sides to every story, but when you look at single-use plastic bags bans the facts are really in favor of a ban. Every reason against implementing a ban can be countered with a logical argument and a reasonable solution, but when you look at the environmental harm caused by disposable plastic bags the only reasonable solution is to stop using them.
Your business can be a part of the solution while marketing your brand at the same time by creating a custom reusable bag. Take a look at all we have to offer and contact us today by filling out a product quote request located on each page of our site.