Plastic Bag Debate Continues



Over the last several years, the problem of plastic shopping bags continue. Many countries and cities already have banned, or at least limited, the use of plastic bags by charging a fee to the customer.

This past week two additional cities have moved toward banning plastic bags. In Mexico City, the second largest city in the West, second to San Francisco, California, made it illegal for supermarkets and other businesses to provide plastic shopping bags to customers.

San Jose, California, also has attempted, within the last week, to ban not only plastic shopping bags, but paper ones as well. If the motion is followed through, the ban will take effect in 2011.

On the other side of the coin, voters in Seattle, Washington, have voted against a 20 cent fee on plastic shopping bags. For a city that has had it's fair share of environmental debates, this choice has been a surprise to many. Edmonds, Washington, is the first city in that state that has approved a ban of plastic bags that will take effect in 2010.

The debate continues. Many American consumers balk at the idea of paying a fee for plastic shopping bags. Truth is, the higher prices paid at the checkout counter already include a hidden fee for the sacks.

Perhaps, if more education was provided to the public concerning the high cost of pollution to the environment, the large impact plastic has on the ocean, and the death of wildlife, maybe more interest in the use of canvas bags and other reuseable containers would be appreciated.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
Email: Current address on website