What Are The Positives to Banning Plastic Bags?

What Are The Positives to Banning Plastic Bags

Do You See The Value of Plastic Bag Bans?

Plastic bag bans can be a polarizing topic. Proponents claim they serve a purpose and do a lot of good, while opponents believe they are unnecessary and not worth the effort. We have written before about the pros and cons of banning plastic bags before. Let’s take an in-depth look at the positives of plastic bag bans.

Economic Impact

By reducing the need for plastic bags, bag bans create a need for reusable shopping bags. This increased demand creates a market for manufacturers to create more durable alternatives shoppers can use in place of disposable bags.

Impact on Grocery Bill

Many consumers think plastic bags are free because they are handed out at the checkout and shoppers are not directly charged. Retailers pay for single-use bags and work this expense into the prices they charge along with all of their other operating costs.

Single-use plastic bags do not appear as a line item on your receipt, but you are still paying for them. When plastic bag bans go into action retailers no longer have the expense of purchasing disposable bags. This may translate into lower prices, or it may prevent a retailer from increasing prices since this savings may offset other expenses.

Environmental Impact

Plastic bag litter is a major problem. Disposable plastic bags are likely to become litter because of their lightweight, thin film construction. Some bags may simply be discarded and tossed on the ground, but if a plastic bag is thrown in an open recycling bin or a landfill a strong gust of wind and lift and carry it away. It is completely possible for people who have no intention of littering to inadvertently do so.

Plastic bag litter is an eyesore that makes areas look rundown. Discarded bags are a threat to animals and their habitats. Plastic bag bans stop the litter problem at the source and prevent environmental harm caused by bag litter.

Tax Impact

Disposable plastic bag litter can also clog drainage systems and lead to flooding. In turn, the flooding can cause damage and end up being a hassle. To prevent flooding and the resulting mess many municipalities routinely clean storm drains. This costs time and tax money.

Plastic bag bans eliminate the mess and trouble caused by plastic bags and means tax money can be used for other important purposes.

Conserve Nonrenewable Resources

Disposable plastic bags are made from natural gas and petroleum; both of these materials are nonrenewable resources. Enough of these resources exist to continue to produce single-use plastic bags, but this will not always be the case.

Plastic bag bans cause shoppers to find alternative shopping bags and conserve these nonrenewable resources.

Growth of Bag Ban Movement

Bans may be considered controversial, but they provide value. Learn more about plastic bag bans through the U.S. and the world by checking out our map.

Come back next week for the other side of the debate and learn about the drawbacks of plastic bag bans. Stay in the know when green news breaks by signing up for our newsletter.


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