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Should Plastic Bags be banned?

Should Plastic Bags be banned?

In California, waste management and the use of single-use plastic forms part of the Nexus discussion since plastic is in our soil, water, and air. Moreover, macro plastics are known to decrease biodiversity and kill marine life. For instance, greenhouse gases have destroyed the environment due to creating plastic bags using fossil fuels. Despite the numerous applications of plastic that help reduce the consumption of fossils, such as low fuel consumption fuel required to transport lighter products, single-use plastics have affected our environment negatively. Additionally, disposable plastic bags are convenient for supermarket customers but at a substantial cost to municipalities that keep waterways and streets clean (Taylor & Sofia 351). Also, throughout the years, I have witnessed the harmful effects of plastic in the pacific ocean, where tons of trash have created ecological disasters. For instance, I have seen hundreds of seabirds and turtles drown suffocate due to ingesting floating plastic. I have also grown up seeing California beaches and coastline filled up with tire particles, automotive fluids, micro fluids, pesticides, including microplastics, which are the main pollutants. Therefore, the final semester paper will evaluate whether single-use plastic bags should be banned by comparing the pros and cons of reusable and single-use plastic bags since plastic bag pollution affects marine and wild environments and impacts county municipalities’ conservation efforts.

Plastic ban opponents argue that single-use plastic bags neither threaten wildlife nor contribute to distributive litter. For instance, a few people claim that the term “one-time-use” is misleading since 90% of customers in the U.S. reuse plastic bags while most plastic bags produced in the country are 100 % recyclable (Kish 229). Additionally, surveys also indicate that besides people using plastic bags for carrying grocery items, they also use them as trash can liners, eliminating the need for special utility bags. On the other hand, advocates of the plastic ban argue that research on alternative uses of plastics is often biased by citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which claims that taxes imposed on plastic bags do not adequately change consumer behavior and also plastic bans do not meaningfully reduce waste and litter in our landfills. As a result, proponents of the plastic bag ban argue that due to their lightweight, single-use plastic bags are harmful to the environment since they are not easily recyclable and are non-biodegradable.

Currently, U.S. adopts the disposable bag policies, including bag fees and bag bans across different states. Moreover, several counties and cities on the east coast have adopted both paper and plastic disposable bag fees at the local level. West coast counties have also imposed fees on paper bags and bans on plastic bags. As a result, some of the research questions for my final semester paper include whether imposing tax fees and bans on disposable plastic bags effectively change consumer behavior and the implications of these policies on reducing waste and environmental pollution. Secondly, does the plastic bag ban result in greater climate change problems? Thirdly I would investigate whether reducing the consumption of single-use plastic bags can have limited environmental effects. Fourthly, I would like to determine whether tax fees and bans on disposable plastic bags decrease littering and the use of plastic bags. Finally, I would like to determine whether beliefs on the value of “green choices” impact reduction in the use of plastic bags. Therefore, the research question outcomes will help us understand the significance of recycling plastic bags and imposing tax fees and bans on single-use bags, and whether they effectively reduce plastic waste and environmental pollution.

Additionally, the proposed solution to the research findings is that preliminary data indicate increased use of paper bags and a 40% increase in reusable bags, thus supporting bans on disposable plastic bags (Kish 230). Several studies also indicate that environmental concerns have increased customer acceptance of reusable bags, thus leading to longer sustainability of renewable resources. Other studies also support tax fees and plastic bags ban since trash reduction policies have not adequately reduced waste and litter inland fields. Therefore, most studies advocate total bans and tax fees on plastic bag use and the importance of educating people on environmental awareness due to the increased use of paper bags and the substitution effect of trash can liners.

Consequently, I will utilize peer-reviewed environmental health journals to obtain information regarding plastic bag reuse and consumption of single-use plastic bags. Furthermore, I will utilize the Journal of Ecology, International Journal of Environmental Science, Nature, and Plos journals since they contain the latest information on disposable bag policies on plastic bag tax fees and bans. Thirdly, I will also use the EBSCO database, which also contains numerous publications and peer-reviewed articles on environment health and conservation. Fourthly, I will also use U.S. government websites such as the National Center Environmental health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency websites to compare opinions that support plastic disposal, reduction, recycling, tax, and bans on plastic bags. Therefore, I will utilize environmental health journals, databases, and websites to evaluate California’s single-use plastic bag policies.

Finally, the expected audience includes environmental conservationists, scientists, government representatives, and policymakers, individual members of the public and educational institutions. As a result, the project’s findings will help eliminate environmental pollution in local communities due to using disposable plastic paper bags. Additionally, the research findings obtained from the semester project will provide policy recommendations regarding tax fees and bans imposed on single-use plastic bags. The potential publication venues include social media sites, seminar meetings, reputable social websites that deal with environmental conservation. Therefore, I will use U.S. government websites, peer-review journals that contain information on plastic bag bans and taxes as the primary source of information.

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The expected allies supporting the plastic ban include environmental conservation enthusiasts such as marine and wildlife conservationists and county municipalities. As a result, wildlife conservationists such as those protecting the marine life along the coastline support the plastic ban and tax fees since they have witnessed ecological destruction of fish habitats and death of sea birds and turtles due to mistaking plastic for food. Secondly, county municipalities also actively support the plastic bag ban since they are responsible for maintaining drainage systems and cleaning the streets. However, the expected opponents of the plastic ban include plastic bag skeptics such as the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) and those with low education and belonging to low-income groups. As a result, low-income earning populations and less educated find it difficult to pay for reusable bags and thus are the first to protest against the plastic ban. Finally, the APBA employs an estimated 25,000 employers across 40 states and uses scientific merits to prove the environmental sustainability of plastic papers while lobbying against plastic across several states. Therefore, those supporting the plastic ban include municipal counties and conservationists, and those opposing include American Progressive Bag Alliance and low-income groups.

Conclusively, the final semester paper will evaluate contrasting opinions regarding banning and reusing plastic bags. As a result, I will use research questions to assess the significance of recycling, reducing, disposing, or banning plastic bags. The preliminary research findings support banning the use of plastic bags since they are non-biodegradable. Finally, the expected audience includes county government municipalities, marine, and wildlife conservation institutions. Therefore, I will research controversies surrounding the ban and reuse of plastic bags for the whole semester since it is a viable topic that examines the effectiveness of disposable bag policies.