Storify Article: http://storify.com/as09em/the-story-behind-the-plastic-bag
Plastic bags have impacts on wildlife, natural scenery and waste management but the alternatives the policy is encouraging are not much better. Alternatives such as paper bags, biodegraded plastic bags, or cotton fabric bags are far from being good alternatives because of costs associated with them and additional environmental impact they are proven to have. The original policy intent was to obviously reduce waste and pollution that plastic bags were contributing to. The idea of reducing plastic bags and using reusable or cotton bags sounds superficially attractive when thinking about the environment. However studies have shown that the policy is in fact having an opposite effect. The policy has lowered the use of plastic bags but is encouraging alternatives that are just as detrimental to the environment. When limiting plastic bags consumers have no choice but to find alternatives to replace the plastics bags, which as the study shows are not a much better choice. The policy is encouraging the use of alternative bags that pose a danger to the environment as well as human health. For example cloth bags are a popular alternative especially for consumers doing groceries. These bags are shown to be much more at risk of being contaminated than plastic bags. This blog post will focus on the problems associated with plastic bags when it comes to the environment and human health. A Plastic bag is a type of packaging made from thin and flexible plastic film. Plastic bags are most commonly used in retail by consumers for transporting goods such as groceries, books, and clothes. The most common arguments used against plastic bags are that plastic bags pollute the air and water, and pose a significant litter problem that results in clogging of lakes, rivers, and oceans. In order to combat this problem the governments around the world have introduced a plastic bag policy imitative. The plastic bag policy is a public policy initiative implemented for the purpose of limiting the use of plastic grocery bags in order to sustain a healthier environment. The links I have added to the Storify article all support my argument. Most of the links I have posted are opinions pieces shared by individuals around the world. The links posted on the Storify article all recognize the negative impacts plastic bags have on the environment and also recognize the need for change.
By evaluating the policy and the outcomes it has had on the environment it is reasonable to conclude that this policy has been ineffective. Alternatives such as paper bags, biodegraded plastic bags, or cotton fabric bags are far from being good alternatives because of costs mentioned above. The studies presented in this paper indicate that the plastic bag policy initiatives have had an opposite effect on the environment. The policy that was intended to reduce plastic bag use is encouraging the use of alternatives that also have detrimental effects on the environment. In an effort to help the environment the plastic bag policy can be considered useful only if the policy aims to substitute plastic bags with more environmentally friendly alternatives. In other words, for the plastic bag policy to be effective the policy must be designed so that consumers are not encouraged to use alternatives that pose just as much of a threat to the environment. And the plastic bag policy in Canada has failed to do just that.