Plastic Bag Ban
Update

Overturning of the plastic bag ban in Toronto proves that unless there is a viable alternative, the convenience and cost-efficiency of plastic bags cannot be replaced.

Banning plastic bags is like banning computers. As technology progresses and life continues to offer new information for increased advancement, there is no going back. Just as the Internet often brings about negative influences, its positive uses cannot be substituted by any other known method.

The goal now is to find ways to recycle plastic bags since recycled materials are often used in plastic manufacturing plants. Drawing up plans to find simpler ways to recycle material would be a first goal. A second alternative step may be to find a solution that easily disintegrates plastic bags found in landfills.

In the United States, you will often find bins for plastic bags in supermarkets. If we could have a by-law that encourages returning one-time use plastic bags to these bins in the supermarket, we would solve most of the problem of excess plastic in our landfills.

We have begun to recycle plastic bags in Toronto:

“Retailers are still required to provide carry-out bags that are compatible with the City's recycling program, which means no biodegradable, compostable plastic bags or bags with metal grommets, string, cored, cloth or non-plastic material can be provided.”[1]

Further, we know that biodegradable bags may be more damaging to the environment than regular bags. Copy and paste the following link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2009/jun/18/greenwash-biodegradeable-plastic-bags

The answer is simple. Like recycled paper, we have to continue to encourage people to recycle their plastic. That is the only way we can maintain the upper hand in our goal to clean up our environment. Once we have several programs in place along with advertisements to encourage the public to recycle plastic, we can continue to enjoy the advancements the plastic industry has provided—and we can keep our computers too!

[1] "No More Plastic Bag Fee as of July 1." No More Plastic Bag Fee as of July 1. N.p., 29 June 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/7017df2f20edbe28852566190-04e428e/05612aecf140d5f185257a2c005e67a4?OpenDocument>.



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