The History of Plastic Bags by zyq13664

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									 The Plastic
 Bag Plague

Plastic Shopping Bags :A Convenience or
                  Did You Know…?
  4 out of 5 grocery bags
                                      The average family uses about 15
  used are plastic
                                      plastic bags per trip to the grocery

Each year, up to 1 trillion plastic
bags are used worldwide. That
comes out to over one million per
                                      12 mil barrels of oil is needed
                                      to produce 100 billion plastic

 Non biodegradable plastic bags up
 to 1000 years to break down in the

Does your local supermark/shopping
     center use plastic bags?


                                     Does your family use plastic bags?

 Harmful Effects on Wildlife

•Marine animals, such as leatherback turtles and harbor
porpoises mistake plastic bags for prey and ingest them.
•The consumption plastic bags cause intestinal
blockages, internal infections, starvation, and even
•Plastic bags cause over 100,000 marine animal deaths
every year because it is mistaken for food
Harming the Environment
           •Increase the amount
           of litter (ex: on the
           street, in trees)
           •Amass in landfills
           because they take up
           1000 years to
           •Put toxins in the soil
• Increases the risk of children/infant
• Contain the carcinogen diethylhexyl
  phthalate and other chemicals such
  as lead, cadmium and mercury

       Non biodegradable vs.
• often made from farmed products like
  cornstarch, which, will break down into
  elements like carbon dioxide, water and
  methane in a short period of time.
• Non biodegradable take over 1000 years
  to decompose


United Kingdom


                 Ireland              Belgium

 the United States?
  Hong Kong

                    Denmark             Switzerland
•Imposed a complete removal of plastic
bags from its stores
•Continues to offer the 100 percent
recycled paper bags
•"Better Bag“-a 99 cent reusable bag made
from 80 percent post-consumer recycled
plastic bottles
•Austin stores gave away the new bags,
some with gift cards ranging from $10 to
$100, to their first 1,000 shoppers
•Ten cent rebate to those who bring own
bags to checkout and they can opt to
donate it Keep Austin Beautiful

•All US stores charge 5 cents for each
plastic bag customers use
•Sell 59 cent “Big Blue Bags”, made of
reusable polypropylene to bring back
and forth to IKEA and use for other
daily activities
•Although the Big Blue Bags are made
of plastic, it would take at least 1,000
uses to be unusable
•Goal: to encourage people to bring
their own bags to reduce litter
                               San Francisco’s

•San Francisco is the first U.S. to ban non-
biodegradable shopping bags
•The legislation will only apply to supermarkets and
pharmacies with sales of over $2 million a year.
These supermarkets and pharmacies have to use
compostable bags made of corn starch or bags
made of recyclable paper.
•The legislation passed with a vote of 10-1.
States/Cities in the US that are
 following in San Francisco’s
• New Jersey –policy proposed to ban plastic bags in
  stores larger than 10,000 square feet
• Massachusetts – about to propose policy that would
  charge store customers 2 cents per plastic bag in 2008
  and eventually 15 cents per bag by seventh year.
• Annapolis, Md. – policy proposed to ban plastic bags
  from all retail stores
• New York City – policy proposed to set up plastic
  bag recycling bins in stores and force store owners to
  take bags to recycling center and report the amount
 Alternate Policy # 1 – A Tax on Plastic
Taxing plastic bags would cut down the number of plastic
  bags used per year. In March 2002, Ireland implemented
  a tax of 15 cents (approximately equal to 20 cents in the
  US) and plastic bag consumption was drastically
  reduced by 90% (

• Because many consumers are unwilling to pay extra for
  plastic bags, plastic bag consumption would drop.
  Furthermore, consumers will bring their own bags.
• Litter on the streets would decrease.
• We would conserve oil by using less plastic bags which
  are petroleum-based.
• We would save landfill space.
• A tax would hurt the plastic industry; many
  people would lose their jobs.
• It would be inconvenient for the shopper to
  bring his/her own bag.
• The use of paper bags, which are also
  harmful to the environment, would increase.
• Although the use of plastic bags would
  decrease with a tax, some people would still
  pay the tax and use plastic bags.
  Alternate Policy #2 – A Ban on both
 biodegradable and non-biodegradable
        Plastic Shopping Bags
Banning all plastic bags would be highly beneficial to the
  environment. Since 2002, Bangladesh has completely
  outlawed all plastic bags. Discarded plastic bags clog
  drainage systems and were the main cause of the 1988 and
  1998 floods (Earth Resource Foundation).

• Most shoppers would bring their own reusable bags.
• We would save a considerable amount of energy and oil by
  eliminating the production of plastic bags.
• Litter in streets, trees, and waterways would dramatically
• We would save landfill space.
• Marine animals would no longer face the problem of mistake
  plastic bags for natural prey.
•Paper bags, which are also harmful to the
environment, would replace plastic bags.
•It would be inconvenient for the consumers
especially if he/she is buying fish or meat.
•A complete ban would hurt the plastic industry and
cause the loss of thousands and thousands of jobs.
•Plastic bags would find a way into cities illegally.
•Smaller stores cannot afford to use alternatives to
plastic bags.
                  How would you feel about a ban on
                           plastic bags?

    Alternate Policy #3 – A Plastic Bag
            Recycling Program
New York City council members Christine Quinn and Peter Vallone have
  proposed a legislation that would require all stores over 5000 feet to set
  up plastic bag collection bins, to only distribute plastic bags with the
  STORE FOR RECYCLING,” to sell reusable bags, to transport plastic
  bags to recycling centers, and to submit annual reports to the
  Department of Sanitation.

• We would save a considerable amount of energy and oil by reusing
  plastic bags
• There would be less litter on the streets, waterways, and trees if plastic
  bags are correctly recycled.
• We would save landfill space.
• The policy would be favorable to consumers because they would still
  have the choice of using plastic bags.
• This policy cannot guarantee the reduction in the
  use of plastic bags; there is nothing to force
• The policy is costly and a burden for store
  owners who must be responsible for overseeing
  the recycling of plastic bags.
                     Our Policy
•   The initiation of an educational program about shopping
    bags (ex: their harmful effects on the environment,
    environment-friendly alternatives, paper bags versus
    plastic bags; non biodegradable versus biodegradable)
•   Will be done by producing a large scale campaign
    promoting the use of biodegradable and environment-
    friendly alternatives through television/radio commercials
    and ads (ex: smoking/above the influence commercials)
•   Educational programs/ad funded by environmental groups
    and donations and present information similar to that in
    the educational programs
•   “According to the Biodegradable Products Institute, the
    simple force on the use of “‘biodegradable’ or
    ‘compostable’ plastic bags are not going to solve litter
    issues – that is an education issue, not a technical one”
            PAPER BAGS                                    CALICO BAGS
•take more energy to manufacture than
                                                   •made from cotton,
plastic bags and can’t be reused as
                                                   •hold more than a plastic bag.
                                                   •life span of a calico bag = 1
• are more degradable than plastic if              year.
they end up in landfill.                           •reduce consumption (of
                                                   single use bags

                                     GREEN BAG™
                        •   Uses Non Woven Polypropylene
                        •   provides the customers with a
                            inexpensive, strong, comfortable,
                            reusable and recyclable carrying
                        •   provides a comprehensive design
                            service for businesses/companies
                        •   One Green Bag can replace 3-5
                            plastic bags
•   The best selling brand of 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable
    bags made from the material, Mater-Bi.
•   Selected by San Francisco to promote their residential food waste
    collection program.
•   There are no chemical additives to enhance decomposition. The bags
    biodegrade naturally when expose to the earth’s elements and micro-
    organisms in the soil.
•   They biodegrade in a controlled composting environment in 10-45
    days and leave no harmful residue behind
•   They “breathe”, which allows heat and moisture to escape or
    evaporate. This feature reduces bacterial build-up of collected waste,
    thus reducing odor.
•   BioBags will biodegrade in both fresh and salt water. Australian
    studies suggest decomposition occurs between 8-14 months
                        Part 2
– Impose a ban on non biodegradable plastic bags
– We are banning only non-biodegradable plastic shopping
  bags because
   – It is more convenient for the customers but at the same
      time it is solving our problem
   – Plastic bags are still necessary for certain products, in
      order to prevent cross contamination
– Those who violate the ban will be fined and the money
  collected from fines will be used towards other
  environmental issues
   Reasons for Banning/Part 2
Are you aware that using plastic bags has
           adverse effects?


                                    Does your supermarket offer alternatives
                                                to plastic bags?

                                     Part 3
                1. Have proper identification/labeling of (non)biodegradable plastic
                This will allow New Yorkers to notice more easily which bags can be
                     used and also prevent any confusion or misleading.
                 would be similar to the symbol that is now found on recyclable
                2. Establish a plan for New
                     plastic bottles.
                     Yorkers to recycle
                     biodegradable and paper
•   make plastic bag recycling bins/machines
    a component of all supermarkets in the
•   have New Yorkers dispose these bags in
    cans different from other trash, like what
    is done now with plastic bottles
•   Create an incentive: give a rebate to
    those who use the supermarket

3. Create a composting program-
• After the Department of Sanitation has
    collected the recycled bags from the
   –     Saving an extreme number of marine animals; preventing extinction
   –     creating a cleaner and healthier place to live
   –     Companies will be saving money because they do not need to
         spend on plastic bags, which they give out for free (ex: Costco)
   –     The success in this city will encourage other areas and eventually
         create a worldwide method of carrying groceries/purchases
   –     Still allows biodegradable bags, which are necessary for products
         that can contaminate
   –     Diverting materials from landfills
   –     Reducing greenhouse gas/methane emissions

Disadvantages- people will eventually become accustomed to this policy
•      Inconvenience of having to either bring your own bag or pay for a
       recyclable, biodegradable bag
•      Need to find other methods of doing miscellaneous tasks (ex: garbage,
       dog curbing)
•      Having to spend money on bags vs. getting free ones
•      May cost the state more money for transportation and education
  Constitutional Support
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of
     certain rights, shall not be construed to
     deny or disparage others retained by the

     Ninth Amendment in the Bill of Rights

 “The protection and promotion of the health of the
inhabitants of the state are matters of public concern
and provision there shall be made by the state and by
    such of its subdivision and in such manner”

  Article XVII Section III of the New York State

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