Several California cities have already implemented a ban on plastic bags in retail and grocery stores, including Los Angeles County and Oakland. The law has been adopted on a global scale in places such as Bangladesh, Haiti and New Delhi, India.
As with any controversial subject, there are a myriad of pros and cons facing the ban. Some support it, claiming that it will change the environment considerably. Others feel that it is simply another government-imposed tax on the American people.
Supporters of the ban propose that replacing plastic bags with reusable cloth sacks and charging a 10 cent tax per paper bag will encourage shoppers to “go green.” The ban was initiated in hopes of reducing litter on city grounds and ocean waste, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some supporters believe that the greatest damage caused by the bags is economic, while others suggest it is environmental. It is also said that the ban can save shoppers $18 – $30 yearly without the rooted plastic charges. The consequence of violating the law can result in fines of $100 – $500.
Those who oppose the ban say that plastic bags account for only 0.3 percent of California’s waste, while yard clippings and food waste make up 32 percent. Others argue that over 30,000 American manufacturing jobs and 349 plants will be affected by the ban. Studies done in Los Angeles show a reduction in retail and grocery revenue since the ban was issued in 2011, according to CBS. The opposition feels it hinders personal freedom when forced to choose from purchasing reusable bags, paying 10 cents per paper bag and not having the option to choose otherwise.
Is the plastic bag ban an economically and environmentally friendly proposition, or is it legislation that will tax Americans and deplete jobs? You decide.
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