There are many issues surrounding plastic pollution in the environment. Despite the slow decomposition of plastic, it is present in the air, water, and groundwater. The tiny particles of plastic pollution are injected into living organisms and emit harmful gases. These pollutants have the potential to cause breathing problems and cancer. Banning plastic will reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment. But how will banning plastic help the environment?
Impact of the ban on plastic bags on the environment
Bans on single-use plastic bags have been enacted in various countries, from China to Bangladesh and India. They aim to reduce waste plastic and its impact on the environment, as they are not easily degraded into harmless chemicals. But this is easier said than done, as it is not always possible to achieve such a ban. It will require a cultural shift in order to make a significant dent in our use of plastics. However, a plastic bag ban could be the first step in this direction.
A ban on single-use plastic bags could have positive impacts on the environment, but it could also have negative impacts if people do not use them responsibly. Many social justice activists say that plastic bags are a particular scourge and contribute to emissions. Marine plastic pollution threatens low-income fisherpeople and destroys physical infrastructure. But a ban will not immediately eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags.
Impact of tax on plastic bags on the environment
Having a tax on plastic bags does not have to be bad for the environment. Many consumers reuse plastic bags. However, a tax on these bags is bad for the environment because more trash bags will be placed in landfills. Additionally, bag taxes are bad for lower-income consumers because they are regressive. The poor will be hit harder than their affluent neighbors. That’s one reason why county commissioner Ronnie Peterson opposed the tax: “We don’t tax the poor,” he said.
However, studies comparing the impact of plastic bag charges on consumer behavior have varied in their methods. In one study, researchers used an economic-focused approach, comparing the number of plastic bags issued by supermarkets of different socio-economic profiles. In another, Poortinga and colleagues (2013) examined pre and post-bag-charge surveys conducted in Wales. Other studies focused on broad secondary data and longitudinal surveys. As a result, the researchers found that the bag charge had no effect on consumers’ behavior and therefore did not significantly change the number of bags used by consumers.
Impact of China’s ban on plastic waste imports on the environment
The global trade in plastic waste will plummet due to China’s ban on imports. As a result, waste treatment capacity will increase in those countries. But the ban will have an even greater impact on the environment on a long-term scale. Developing countries need to learn the environmental impact of plastic waste imports from developed countries. They can formulate policies to minimize negative impacts. Developing countries should also improve their own domestic waste management systems.
While many countries are already struggling with plastic waste, the ban will make this problem even worse. Many plastics will end up in landfills in Western countries without the appropriate recycling infrastructure. This would be an affront to the principles of the circular economy and contribute to a larger ecological footprint. Western countries will have to find alternative solutions to recycle plastic waste, which will only increase pollution on the planet.
Impact of paper bag ban on the environment
A ban on plastic bags would not be good for the environment. Paper bags use 400 times as much energy to make as plastic bags, requiring the cutting of trees and the use of toxic chemicals and fuel. However, paper bags can be better for the environment than plastic bags. While they do not contribute to climate change, plastic bags can increase greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to soil pollution. Even biodegradable bags are worse for the environment because they require huge amounts of water and toxic emissions.
Single-use plastic bags can be used more than 100 times, but paper bags require more than that. Paper bags require 131 reuses, while cotton totes require a staggering 3,000 times. However, trashed plastic bags are a danger to wildlife and plants. New York could resolve its littering problem by distributing more public trash cans and spending more on waste collection. However, the paper bag ban has been a controversial issue for some time.