Posted at 12.30.2018
The use of plastic material bags warrants attention in the ecological consumption debate, specially when packaging makes up about a substantial amount of the resources used and waste produced by our consumer life-style. Governments, vendors and community activists are striving to improve sustainability performance by finding ways to reduce plastic tote use.
The authors presented a well-balanced view of both benefits and drawbacks of plastics luggage, which is crucial in analyzing initiatives used by different countries. Plastic material bags are energy conserving to create, cost-effective, convenient to store and easy to use. However, they have adverse impacts in conditions of waste disposal and one significant problem is that clear plastic carriers are non-biodegradable and take at least century to decompose. When they break down in proportions, animals expire as they mistake the plastic hand bags for food and ingest them (Aldred, 2007). Plastic material hand bags clog drainage systems and create pollution where discarded clear plastic totes float in oceans. Russo (2012) also found that huge amounts of money have to be spent on clearing up the plastic handbags and the injuries induced by them.
However, the claim that many countries spend a considerable amount on cleaning up the plastic carriers and the injuries induced by them is not justified. Oftentimes, these claims are simply just guesses by advocates instead of genuine data, and cost is often thrown in as a justification after bans are enacted for politics reasons (Myers, 2012). Technology also does not support the actual fact that plastic bags do any genuine injury. Plastic bags wrap up doing less destruction than other alternatives and the benefits that the carriers offer far outweigh their cost (Myers, 2012). Independent studies also show that plastic carriers are environmentally better paper because clear plastic handbags have a lighter environmental footprint (Gunther, 2011). Furthermore, current plastic carriers use 70% less clear plastic than those of 20 years previously and account for less fuel to move, fewer emissions than paper bags ().
References obtained by the writers were credible and reliable as information was based on recent data and reputable resources. The authors provided a worldwide perspective of strategies followed by different countries in minimizing their plastic use. For example, countries like Taiwan suspended the use of plastic hand bags to reduce environmental issues such as litter and landfill. Russo (2012) discovered that by banning plastic bags, funds would be redirected to infrastructures and consumer demand would alter toward other alternatives, creating more opportunities for enterprisers to come up with alternatives to plastic material. Companies that produce reusable bags may possibly also expand their products and create more careers. In contrast, voluntary action is for consumers and the business enterprise community to reduce plastic handbag use in the UK.
However, research by Clover (2007) disclosed that banning of clear plastic bags would not be effective in minimizing environmental issues as there would be a rise in paper handbag production, resulting in a increased amount of methane released in landfill. Other research also revealed that banning plastic bags does not help the environment as it increase carbon emissions and other environmental problems. Research by Lane (2007) highlighted that even though most of the waste materials in landfill sites originates from packaging, plastic carriers form only a tiny small percentage of the litter stream. They occupy lesser of the landfill space, resulting in reduced greenhouse gases and pollution, as compared to wood and newspaper (British Retail Consortium News, 2007).
Therefore, some countries like UK do not support an outright ban on vinyl as it would not be considered a long-term solution in sustainable development. Instead, they seek other alternatives such as paper carriers or an enforced tax on vinyl bags. However, United Kingdoms Environment Company (2011) discovered that alternatives such as paper luggage have a worse effect on the environment than plastic carriers. According to the U. S. Environmental Security Agency, plastic carriers require 40 percent less energy than newspaper bags which paper bag manufacturing creates 70 percent more polluting of the environment and 50 percent more normal water. Alternatives to plastic bags may also not fit the bill because when government authorities outlaw plastic hand bags to encourage consumers to use other environmentally damaging products, more air pollution is actually created (Agresti, 2012). There might also be society and economic impacts on the less affluent in conditions of employment damage, due to reduced plastic material bag processing ().
Another possible substitute which the creators did not consider could be the recycling of plastic hand bags in recycling centers. Explain. However, it has shown to be difficult to process mechanically because they are often labour intense and cost rigorous to sort cheap waste. Furthermore, in many cases, work to increase bag recycling have shown minimal success currently ().
The procedure for changing consumer behavior with regards to plastic tote use is complicated as many variables are at play. Therefore, I agree with the writers assumption that there are different perspectives concerning how consumer behaviour should be customized. For countries such as Bangladesh and India, flooding and public health concerns resulted in the use of legislation to ban the utilization of plastic handbags. In the UK, consumers are urged to lessen their use of vinyl bags while vendors are expected to introduce measures to encourage consumers to act responsibly. Other countries like Italy, Ireland and Denmark choose to impose taxes to encourage consumers to reduce plastic handbag use and taxes collected can raise revenue for even more environmental improvement. In the case of Singapore, options to reduce the use of plastic hand bags remain being considered, especially on the role of retailers in charging consumers for clear plastic hand bags at checkouts.
To conclude, the use of plastic carriers has a great impact on sustainable usage. Changing consumer habit through voluntary action, legislation banning the use of plastic handbags, or taxing their use can make a difference to a more sustainable future. Most importantly, the use of materials and energy should not be constrained where only needless use of vinyl bags is prevented. We must look at a macro point of view and not just focus on the problem of plastic carriers. In fact, there should be a ecological use of everything which include the support of public understanding and motivation to lessen, reuse and recycle (3Rs) to solve environmental problems.