As the environmental effects of plastic pollution become harder to ignore, conscious governments and organizations have spared no effort in helping enact plastic bag bans legislation or improve plastic bag recycling programs. Single-use plastic shopping bags are cheap and convenient, however, most of them were made from low-density Polyethylene plastics which are non-biodegradable and difficult to dispose of. Therefore, governments all over the world urgently need to find a green solution for the plastic waste treatment. These ways have been proved to be effective on reducing plastic pollution: banning, taxing, regulating, restricting the sale, or improve plastic bags labeling, recycling or reuse programs, and encourages the use of reusable shopping tote bags.
Homesgu.com give a new study on Enacted plastic bag bans and taxes legislation around Europe, the US, and the world. Some public information from the National Conference of State Legislators, Europa.eu and Wikipedia.
Here, you will learn about: Which cities or states have enacted plastic bag ban legislation in the United States? Which countries have banned or taxed on disposable plastic bags in Europe? which countries have started phasing out of lightweight plastic bags around the world?
Whether you live in a rural farm area or an urban hi-tech city, you surely witness plastic bags blowing around every time you leave from your dwelling.
Some blow like post-apocalyptic tumbleweed across roads, while others become hitched in the branches of trees in the street. Then, there are some others that end up floating through our rivers, streams, creeks and other water reservoirs, until they find their way into the ocean.
Plastic waste affects all types of organisms and biomes. They specifically, are continually harming the natural environments from the start to the end of their life cycle.
The impact of plastic bags on the Environment
Plastics are causing a real nuisance – a real and tangible damage to the environment in a serious way. In other words, these are non-biodegradable and cause serious environmental pollution. They undergo a process termed as photodegradation in which they break down into very small toxic particles, eventually causing havoc to our natural ecosystem. Burning them creates harmful dioxins and if the incinerators meant for burning plastics are inefficient, these leak into the outer environment.
Chlorinated plastics release harmful toxic chemicals into the surrounding soil, which finds its way into the groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystems of the world. This harms the aquatic species that drink the water. The plastic breaks down into the soil causing harm to the wildlife. Plastic bags can poison or choke fish, birds and animals, with marine wildlife particularly being vulnerable.
One biome that has been impacted in the worst possible way by plastic pollution is the ocean. Approximately, 13 million tonnes of plastic is washed into the ocean every year. Some plastics release toxic chemicals in the water causing cancer and other fatal diseases, but the most prevalent problem is the consumption of plastic by animals.
Harmful effects of plastic bags on the ocean life
Improperly disposed plastic bags have a negative impact on wildlife in general. For the past few decades, their impact on the sea creatures has come into the limelight in particular. Plastic bags are one of the most common trash items on beaches. These begin as a littler on sea beach; lanes; streets; roads and, quickly find their way in the stormwater runoff, getting swept away in to the secondary waterways, and eventually ending up in the ocean.
Turtles, sea birds, fish, and other aquatic fauna are the largest groups affected by plastic debris. Approximately 100 million marine fauna are chocked to death each year directly from the plastic poison consumption. The ocean animals eat plastic and this plastic blocks their digestive tract causing their death. The entire food chain is negatively affected due to plastic poison. Human health is also impacted as we consume this fish that has plastic in its body.
Chemicals in plastic result in an increase in amounts of estrogen in animals, that has shown to trigger mutations such as female sex organs with male fish. This plastic remains in their stomachs (even if it does not cause their death), which means that when these sea creatures (crabs, lobsters, and fish) are caught for human consumption, we end up ingesting these same poisonous and toxic chemicals the bodies of these creatures have absorbed.
Sea turtles often confuse plastic bags floating underwater with jellyfish. They regularly consume plastic bags by mistake. Environment Protection Authority has carried out a study in which they reported that around 50% of dead turtles have plastic bags in their stomach. The bags choke their digestive system and the buoyancy forces these turtles to flood, making it hard and impossible for them to dive for food. They eventually get starved to death.
The young baby turtles are especially at risk because they aren’t as selective as their adults about what they consume and tend to drift with water currents, just as plastic does. Sea turtles are not the only ocean creatures consuming plastic bags. Various studies have reported that nearly all marine fauna have inadvertently or directly ingested plastic. Plastic marine debris starves to death over 100,000 mammals and turtles every year.
Plastic debris kills up to a 1 million seabirds every year. Many seabirds are lying lifeless on the sea shores with their stomachs full of this trash. Scientists estimate that 60% of all seabird species have ingested several pieces of plastic, a figure they anticipate will rise to 99% by 2050.
While species like dolphins are extremely intelligent and thus unlikely to consume plastic, they are receptive to contamination through prey that have consumed synthetic compounds. From seabirds, turtles, dolphins, and whales, to tiny seahorses that inhabit coral reefs and shoals of fish that live on nearby mangroves and those same coral reefs, plastic debris has negatively impacted all.
Plastic trash also encourages the pathogen growth in the oceans. Research studies have reported that the coral reefs that get exposed to plastic possess an 89% chance of contracting diseases, in comparison to the 4% likelihood of the reefs that do not.
Unless some serious action is not taken to address this grave problem, scientists anticipate that the weight of ocean plastics will surpass the combined weight of all the fish in the oceans by 2050.
Apart from actions at institutional and government level, transitioning to green alternatives is the most viable solution to the plastic nuisance.
Which States Or Cities Have Banned Plastic Bag In The Us?
While the states of California and Hawaii are focusing on imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, the State of New York became the third state to ban plastic bags in March 2020. On the other hand, some other states and cities start labeling, recycling, and reusing disposable plastic bags. However, there are no national plastic bag bans or taxes currently in effect in the United States. It is gratifying that more and more states or cities reclaim used plastic bags and encourage consumers to use reusable grocery bags.View the large image
Here’s A List Of Every State Or City In The US To Ban Or Tax Single-Use Plastic Bags, Will Your City Be Next?
|State Or City||Legislation Type||Legislation Status||Recycling Programs||Side Notes|
|Boston||Ban||Enacted||City-wide ban on single-use plastic bags and 5-cent fee on checkout bags.|
|Chicago||Ban||Adopted||✓||City-wide ban on single-use plastic bags and 7-cent fee on paper bags.|
|Los Angeles||Ban||Enacted||City-wide ban on plastic bags and 10-cent fee on paper bags.|
|San Francisco||Ban||Enacted||✓||City-wide ban on plastic bags and 10-cent fee on checkout bags.|
|Seattle||Ban||Enacted||City-wide ban on plastic bags and and 5-cent fee on paper bags.|
|Boulder, Colo.||Bans and Fees||Enacted||City-wide ban on plastic bags and and 8-cent fee on other bags.|
|Montgomery County, Md.||Bans and Fees||Enacted||City-wide ban on plastic bags and 10-cent fee on checkout bags.|
|New York||Ban and labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Enacted||✓||City-wide ban on plastic bags and 5-cent fee for single-use paper bags.|
|Portland, Maine||Bans and Fees||Enacted||City-wide ban on single-use plastic bags.|
|Washington, D.C.||Ban and labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Enacted||✓||5 cents fee for disposable bags, rather than banning bags altogether.|
|Maine||labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Enacted||✓||Plan to ban plastic bags on April 22, 2020.|
|California||Ban and labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Put to Referendum, Passed||✓||County-wide ban on plastic bags and 10-cent fee on Single-Use bags.|
|Delaware||labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Enacted||✓||Establishes Recycle&Reuse programs and encourages the use of reusable bags.|
|Rhode Island||Ban and labeling, Recycling or Reuse Programs||Enacted||✓||County-wide ban on plastic bags and 5-cent fee on paper bags.|
Which Country Has Banned Plastic Bag In The European Union?
Due to the average EU citizen consumes over 200 single-use plastic bags per year, some European Union cities have been surrounded by ‘plastic soup’. To fight this pollution, EU members have agreed to choose the most appropriate measures to reduce the use of disposable plastic carrier bags at grocery stores and other businesses. Some members have enacted legislation imposing a country-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, other countries have implemented a plastic bag tax amounting to 5~10 cents (€) on disposable bags, the remaining members have encouraged their citizens to participate in voluntary actions to reduce plastic bag consumption. The Ultimate Goal is to reduce plastic bag use by 80% by 2025 among the EU member states.view the large image
Here’s A List Of Some Countries In The EU To Ban Or Tax Single-Use Plastic Bags:
|State Or City||Legislation Type||Legislation Status||Recycling Programs|
|Belgium||Ban and Tax||Enacted||✓|
Cities or Countries that have banned (or taxed) plastic bags around the world
In the early 21st century, there has been a global revolution and transition towards the Single-use plastic shopping bags,phase-out of lightweight plastic bags, commonly created from LDPE (low-density polyethylene plastic), have traditionally been given for free to customers by stores when buying goods: the bags have long been considered a cheap, hygienic and convenient way of transporting items. Problems and issues related with plastic bags include, use of conventional energy or non-renewable resources (such as coal, gas and crude oil), complexities and hassles during disposal, and environmental impacts. Simultaneously with the reduction in lightweight plastic bags, shopping stores globally have introduced recyclable/reusable shopping bags.
Governments and institutions globally have taken stringent actions to enforce a ban on the sale of lightweight plastic bags, generate taxes from the stores that sell them or charge customers for lightweight plastic bags.
The Bangladesh government was the first nation to impose a total ban on lightweight plastic bags in 2002. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of government policies and regulations intended to phase out plastic carryout bags tripled. As of 21 July 2019, such bans on single-use light weight plastic bags have been introduced in sixty-nine countries, with varying degrees of imposition, and thirty-two countries instead enforced a charge per plastic bag. Charges and bans have also been enacted by some local jurisdictions such as cities, states, territories and counties.view the large image
Below is the list of the nations/countries that have enforced ban or Partial charge or ban (municipal or regional levels) on the light weight plastic bags
|Namibia||Africa||Banned in some regions||Banned in protected places|
|Mozambique||Africa||Charge||Since 5 February 2016|
|Botswana||Africa||Countrywide ban||Started on 1st November 2018|
|Chad||Africa||Regional ban||Ban enforced in N’Djamena.|
|Comoros||Africa||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Moroni|
|Egypt||Africa||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Red Sea Governorate.|
|Somalia||Africa||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Somaliland|
|Sudan||Africa||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Khartoum State|
|South Africa||Africa||Some charge||Ban since 2004|
|Benin||Africa||Total ban||Banned since November 2017|
|Burkina Faso||Africa||Total ban||Since 2015|
|Cameroon||Africa||Total ban||Since April 2014|
|Cape Verde||Africa||Total ban||Since 2017|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Africa||Total ban||Banned since 2018|
|Republic of the Congo||Africa||Total ban||Since 2011|
|Djibouti||Africa||Total ban||Since 2019|
|Eritrea||Africa||Total ban||Since 2005|
|Gabon||Africa||Total ban||Since 2010|
|Gambia||Africa||Total ban||Since 2015|
|Guinea Bissau||Africa||Total Ban||Since 2016|
|Ivory Coast||Africa||Total ban||Since 2014|
|Kenya||Africa||Total ban||Since 28 August 2017|
|Malawi||Africa||Total ban||Since 2015|
|Mauritania||Africa||Total ban||Since 2013|
|Mauritius||Africa||Total ban||Since 2016|
|Morocco||Africa||Total ban||Since July 2016|
|Niger||Africa||Total ban||Ban considered|
|Nigeria||Africa||Total ban||Since May 2019|
|Rwanda||Africa||Total ban||Since 2008|
|Senegal||Africa||Total ban||Ban since April 2015|
|Seychelles||Africa||Total ban||Ban since 2017|
|South Sudan||Africa||Total ban|
|Tanzania||Africa||Total ban||Ban since June 2019|
|Togo||Africa||Total ban||Ban since July 2018|
|Tunisia||Africa||Total ban||Ban since March 2017|
|Uganda||Africa||Total ban||Banned since September 2007|
|Zambia||Africa||Total Ban||Since December 2018|
|Zimbabwe||Africa||Total Ban||Ban been planned. Thin regulations|
|Burundi||Africa||Total ban from 2020||Ban planned for February 2020|
|South Korea||Asia||Ban||Ban since August 2018|
|Pakistan||Asia||Ban in some regions|
|Cambodia||Asia||Charge||Banned since October 2017|
|Taiwan||Asia||Charge||Ban proposed since 2003. Ban planned for 2030.|
|Uzbekistan||Asia||Charge||Ban since 2019|
|China||Asia||Hongkong applies a charge||Since June 2008|
|Lebanon||Asia||Regional ban||Banned enforced in Byblos|
|Myanmar||Asia||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Yangon|
|Philippines||Asia||Regional ban||Ban enforced in Manila|
|Japan||Asia||Regional ban and charges||National charge from April 2020|
|Malaysia||Asia||Regional charge||Charges in two states|
|Indonesia||Asia||Regional charges and bans||Charges in twenty-three cities. Banned in Bali since June 2019|
|Israel||Asia||Some charge||Since January 2017|
|Afghanistan||Asia||Total Ban||Since 2011|
|Bahrain||Asia||Total Ban||Ban from 21 July 2019|
|Bangladesh||Asia||Total Ban||Ban started in 2002|
|Bhutan||Asia||Total ban||Banned since April 1st, 2019|
|India||Asia||Total ban||Since 2002. However, enforcement has been poor|
|Mongolia||Asia||Total ban||Since March 2019|
|Nepal||Asia||Total ban||Banned in 2015 but very thin regulation. Enforcement has failed|
|Srilanka||Asia||Total ban||Ban since 2017|
|Brunei||Asia||Voluntary ban||Ban enforced in April, 2019|
|Kazakhstan||Asia||Ban is being planned|
|Kyrgystan||Asia||Ban is being planned|
|Oman||Asia||Ban being considered|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Europe||Charge||In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) has embraced a decree on fees for retailers selling plastic bags up to 20 microns in thickness|
|Bulgaria||Europe||Charge||Ban started in 2019|
|Estonia||Europe||Charge||Since July 2017|
|Greece||Europe||Charge||Banned since 2018|
|Netherlands||Europe||Charge||Ban since 2016. Banned in Aruba|
|Ukraine||Europe||Charge and ban||Charge planned for 2021. Ban planned for 2022.|
|Denmark||Europe||Charge and tax||There is also a tax in Greenland|
|Armenia||Europe||Charge from 2020. Total ban from 2022||Started on 1st July, 2020|
|Moldova||Europe||Partial Ban||Banned since 2017 in large retailers. Since 2018 ban enforced in medium retailers. Full ban planned for 2020, which will affect small retailers as well|
|Croatia||Europe||Some charge||Since 2019|
|Cyprus||Europe||Some charge||Since 2018|
|Czech Republic||Europe||Some charge||Since 2018|
|Iceland||Europe||Some charge||Since July 2019. Ban planned for 2021.|
|Ireland||Europe||Some charge||Banned since March 2002, also, a 0.15 Euro tax has been added to all light weight plastic bags. Since these charges were added, there has been a ninety percent reduction in the use of plastic bags|
|Latvia||Europe||Some charge||Since January 2019|
|Lithuania||Europe||Some charge||Since 31 December 2018|
|Poland||Europe||Some charge||Since 2018|
|Portugal||Europe||Some charge||Since 2016|
|Serbia||Europe||Some charge||Ban since 2018|
|Slovakia||Europe||Some charge||Ban since March 2017|
|Slovenia||Europe||Some charge||Ban since 2019|
|Spain||Europe||Some charge||Ban since July 2018|
|Sweden||Europe||Some charge||Heavy charges will be imposed from 2020|
|Turkey||Europe||Some charge||Banned in some regions. Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus also applies a charge|
|United Kingdom||Europe||Some charge||Banned in Wales since 2011, Northern Ireland since 2013, Scotland since 2014 and England since 2015. Banned in Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Voluntary charge in the Falkland Islands. Ban considered in British Indian Ocean Territory|
|Albania||Europe||Total Ban||Since 2018|
|Andorra||Europe||Total Ban||Since 2017|
|Azerbaijan||Europe||Total ban||Ban is being planned by the government and institutions|
|Belgium||Europe||Total ban||Since 2016 in Wallonia, 2017 in Brussels, 2019 in Flanders|
|France||Europe||Total ban||Since July 2016. Also banned in Overseas France.|
|Georgia||Europe||Total ban||Since 2017|
|Italy||Europe||Total ban||Since January 2011|
|Monaco||Europe||Total ban||Ban enforced since 2016|
|North Macedonia||Europe||Total ban||Ban since 2013|
|Romania||Europe||Total ban||Since 2019|
|Austria||Europe||Voluntary Charge||Ban will be enforced in 2020|
|Finland||Europe||Voluntary charge||Ban being planned|
|Germany||Europe||Voluntary charge||Since April 2016|
|Switzerland||Europe||Voluntary charge||Geneva will ban plastic bags in 2020|
|Montenegro||Europe||Ban being planned|
|San Marino||Europe||Planned ban failed in 2009|
|Canada||North America||Regional ban||Bans in several municipalities. Banned in Prince Edward Island. Full ban planned for 2021|
|Guatemala||North America||Regional ban||Banned in several municipalities|
|Honduras||North America||Regional ban||Ban enforced in the Bay Islands Department.|
|Mexico||North America||Regional ban||Banned in Mexico City and Querétaro City|
|United States||North America||Regional ban and charges||Banned in 2 states (one de facto) and 4 territories. Charge in Washington, D.C. Charges and bans in several municipalities|
|Antigua and Barbuda||North America||Total Ban||Since 2016 (It is the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to do so)|
|Bahamas||North America||Total ban||Ban planned for 2020|
|Barbados||North America||Total ban||Since April 2019|
|Belize||North America||Total ban||Ban implemented on 22 April 2019 (Earth Day)|
|Dominica||North America||Total ban||Since 2019|
|Grenada||North America||Total Ban||Since February 2019|
|Haiti||North America||Total ban||North America|
|Jamaica||North America||Total ban||Since January 2019|
|Panama||North America||Total ban||Since 2017|
|Costa Rica||North America||Total ban will be enforced in 2021||Ban planned for 2021|
|Fiji||Oceania||Charge||Since August 2017.|
|Australia||Oceania||Regional Ban||Lightweight plastic bags have been banned in all states except New South Wales. In Victoria, ban enforcement will take place in November 2019. Now reusable thick 15¢ bags are used in the two major supermarket chains in all territories including New South Wales.|
|Micronesia||Oceania||Regional ban||Banned in the states of Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap|
|Soloman Islands||Oceania||Regional ban||Banned in Western Province|
|Marshall Islands||Oceania||Total ban|
|New Zealand||Oceania||Total ban||Since July 2019. Also banned in Niue. Ban planned in the Cook Islands|
|Papua New Guinea||Oceania||Total ban||Since 2016|
|Samoa||Oceania||Total ban||Since 2019|
|Vanuatu||Oceania||Total ban||Since 31 January 2018|
|Chile||South America||Ban||Ban started in February 2019.|
|Bolivia||South America||Ban in some regions||Conducted a ban in La Paz since 2018|
|Argentina||South America||Regional ban||Started in 2009. Banned in several cities and provinces|
|Brazil||South America||Regional ban||Banned in State of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo|
|Ecuador||South America||Regional ban||Restricts plastic bags around the Galápagos Islands|
|Uruguay||South America||Total ban||Ban since July 2019|
|Guyana||South America||Total ban planned||Ban planned for 2021|
|Colombia||South America||Total ban. Charge applied to reusable bags||Since July 2017|
|Peru||South America||Charge being considered for August 2019. Ban planned for 2021|
Some facts about benefits of plastic bags ban in few countries
- England’s plastic bag usage drops 85% since the 5p charge introduced
- Ireland reduced plastic bag consumption by 90% (over 1 billion bags) between 2001 and 2011 by imposing a plastic bag tax of 37 cents
- Botswana put up a fee in 2007 on plastic bags and retailers have reported a 50% drop in bag usage.
- In the US, there are 133 different anti-bag regulations. California and Chicago banned bags in 2014. Washington DC and Dallas charge for plastic bags and incentives for stores and consumers have dropped bag usage by some 50%
- Plastic bags are no longer used in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec
The Solution: Reusable Bags – The Green Alternative To Plastic Bags
The best solution to curb the problem of plastic menace is ban plastic to save the environment. Reusable bags are the bags that are long lasting and durable. Such bags are manufactured in different size, styles and colors. Reusable and recyclable cloth bags are the preferred alternative to plastic carry bags. These bags are created from multiple materials like cotton, hemp, jute and calico (plain-woven textile made from unbleached and often not fully processed cotton). We have reusable bags in the form of bio-plastics as well. With advancements in science and technology, bio-plastics or organic/biodegradable plastics are derived from renewable organic sources like corn starch, pea starch and vegetable oil. The 3 types of bioplastics that can be used as reusable bags are – biodegradable plastic, compostable plastic, and degradable.
These bags emphasize on the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – all help to reduce the amount of waste we dispose of. These bags are also called reduce reuse and recycle bags. These conserve natural resources, energy and landfill space. Plus, the three R’s save cost of disposing off waste in landfills.
Few reasons to buy reusable grocery shopping bags
- A plastic bag takes around 15 and 1,000 years to decompose, depending upon the type of environment. The plastic bags sit for decades and even centuries without breaking down in a typical landfill environment.
- Recycling of plastic bags involves too much cost and as of now, a proper and robust infrastructure for recycling does not exist in most of the nations. That has been proved by the Environmental Protection Authority estimates which report that only 2% of all plastic bags are recycled. Therefore, plastic bags are commonly discarded into landfills, around the oceans, often leaching toxins into the water and soil.
- Reusable bags are made up of bio-degradable and environment friendly materials. So, they are better than plastic bags in every respect as nonrenewable resources like petroleum products are used to make plastic bags.
- If you are thinking, paper bags are a better option over plastic bags, then you are mistaken. The US chops down around 14 million trees every year to make the pulp to manufacture paper bags. Also, paper bags produce twice the atmospheric waste as plastic bags.
Benefits of reusable/recyclable bags
Reusable bags save money
In many countries, plastic bags have been banned and as a result the supermarkets, grocery stores and other shopping stores have stated imposing an extra charge for bags. By carrying your own reusable bag, you not only save money, but even get offered incentives for bringing your own bio-degradable shopping bag.
An average person over their lifetime will utilize 13,000 plastic bags, and now with a 5p charge, that passes over an $810 spend on plastic bags. In contrast, the average recyclable or reusable bag costs between 50p – $1.25 but has a lifetime of around 500 plastic bags, meaning one can pass on a minimum saving of $778 to your customers.
Because even if they bought a new green reusable bag every 500 uses for $1.25, it would only cost them $32.38 for their entire life.
Reusable shopping gags help in conservation of the environment
Buying a single set of recyclable/reusable bags and utilizing them each time you go out shopping eliminates the disposal of as many as 25,000 disposable plastic bags. If you are able to buy a quality cloth or canvas shopping bag, you will be able to utilize them for years to come.
Manufacturing of plastic bags needs burning of toxic fossil fuels, deforestation and, in some cases, the use of illegitimate labor practices. Reusable/recyclable bags offer a lot of benefits to both flora and the fauna and, also help in cutting down the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Getting on the green bags or reusable bag bandwagon is beneficial in many ways apart from contributing towards saving the planet.
Reusable bags save resources
Plastic is non-biodegradable, uses crude oil and natural gas in its creation, and need even more fossil fuels for its shipment.
By using a recyclable/reusable bag, you not only reduce the amount of harmful conventional and non-renewable resources important for producing plastic bags, but you also contribute in reducing the expenses your community is spending on cleanup costs each year. Plastic bags are a nuisance and always end up blowing onto the open lanes, infiltrating natural environments and clogging waterways. It is not only an eyesore and a grave concern for human and environment health, but also demands heavy costs to clean up.
The state of California in the United States of America spends twenty-five million dollars to send plastic bags to the landfill each year. This is exclusive of the $8 million that is spent on getting rid of plastic bags from the open streets. By making use of plastic, you are alleviating the amount of taxpayer money that is spent for litter clean up, leaving enough room for other community funded projects.
Reusable bags help de-clutter your house and save space
Plastic bags end up cluttering your space, car, household, and workspace. On taking five to six grocery bags home worth of food every week, we end up taking around 260 – 300 plastic bags a year. This is only groceries. These plastic bags just create nuisance in every nook and corner of your private and work space.
Though bigger in size than a light weight plastic grocery bag, reusable/recyclable bags can be folded up and take up significantly lesser space in comparison to the guilty storage of plastic bags. Also, in comparison to twenty to fifty plastic bags floating around your home, you will have just 3 to 5 reusable bags to occupy their place.
Durability and Reliability
Reusable cloth, woven and canvas bags are sturdy, durable and reliable in comparison to the plastic bags. This means lesser trips to and from your car and more comfort in carrying them at a time.
The durability and reliability of reusable bags also prevents them from tearing and ripping. Also, the reusable bags can be used for multiple purposes. Reusable totes can be used for lesson plans, groceries, beach bags, and even as a purse. There exist infinite uses to these packable, comfortable, durable and convenient bags.
Peace of Mind
Plastic bags are a threat to human health and the overall environment. An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are utilized each year, and they are causing havoc in oceans, in rivers and are choking the terrestrial and aquatic fauna at an alarming rate.
When usage of plastic is consciously stopped, the environment and the Planet Earth will be benefitted.
In conclusion, there are 2 messages than can be drawn from considering a global perspective towards the plastic nuisance. Firstly, regulations associated with plastic bags are not merely an economic issue. A large number of African nations with less economic avenues are the best examples of how a plastic ban enforcement is not limited by financial power. The U.S, as a very wealthy and economically superior nation, shows the other side of the coin by not even attempting towards contributing towards a nation-wide plastic bag reduction.
The second message is that it is amazing that apart from the European Union proposal, there exists no uniting legislation for a world initiative to prevent the use of plastic bags. Undoubtedly, lobbying by the industrial units might be an influencing factor, but an integrated proposal would enable political processes across the globe.
Since 2015, a big problem lurking in the oceans i.e., plastic debris has been gaining more and more attention. Marine plastic waste is a grave problem in the present times. It cannot be immediately addressed. However, some nations attempt to regulate plastic use by its citizens. This, to a limited extent is done through economic incentives and strict bans. The degree to which a strict ban is implemented differs significantly from one nation to another nation. However, strict rules on plastic bags are a first crucial act in going fossil-free, since the manufacturing of plastic needs oil.
All the social pressures and environmental catastrophes, impel institutions and policy-makers to consider the environmental scenario in political decisions. There was a time some fifty years ago, the governments recommended increase in plastic production for economic gains. Nowadays, people in power have become highly skeptical about the organic polymer. More and more nations are joining hands in trailblazing the trend of phasing out light weight plastic bags.