Should plastic bags be banned for free in all 50 states and instead charge a fee for each plastic bag used at the checkout? This will be the focused research question for this essay. In contemporary settings, the need to conserve the environment holds essence to a considerable degree. Plastic bags contribute to environmental pollution significantly. Thus, the establishment of policies that seek to curb the use of such bags is essential (Ritch et al. 170). In the United States, various states consider establishing and implementing strategies to curb the use of plastic bags at the checkout of retail and grocery stores. Several cities impose charges of up to $10 on customers using plastic bags. However, the strategy has not been effective in discouraging the utilization of environmentally unfriendly materials (Clapp and Swanston 318). Currently, several states including Arizona, Missouri, Idaho, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Utah, have tabled laws that would see the ban of plastic bags use, primarily at retail store checkouts. However, there is a need for all 50 states to prohibit the use of plastic bags at the checkout of retail and grocery stores.
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The use of plastic bags has detrimental effects on the environment. Plastic bags cause harmful consequences to forests, lakes, rivers, and oceans. The harm undermines the survival of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Usually, plastic waste finds its way to water bodies where it soaks the toxins, which are transferred to aquatic life. Besides endangering the life of aquatic creatures, the toxins have the potential of finding their way to the top of the food chain, thereby posing adverse health implications on the human population. The problem of plastic bags threatens the sustainability of the 40 billion dollar ocean economy (Clapp and Swanston 320). Further, it is costly to finance the cleanup and recycling of plastic bags conducted in the entire United States. Therefore, the need to foster the sustainability of the natural environment calls for the free ban on plastic bags used for shopping in all the 50 states.
The research seeks to advocate legislation that would see the permanent ban on the use of plastic bags when shopping in retail and grocery outlets. The current proposal also aims at underlining the essence of engaging in practices that foster environmental sustainability in the United States. The inquiry seeks to uncover the insignificance of charging shoppers who use plastic bags at the checkout. The value of the environment overrides the collected revenues. Environmental degradation has long-term implications for generations to come. Further, the ban would relieve citizens from the financial burdens incurred from the activities involved in the cleanup and recycling of plastic waste.
The following research questions would be crucial in establishing a solution to the current problem induced by the use of plastic bags when shopping.
- What are the environmentally adverse effects of using plastic bags when shopping at retail and grocery stores in the United States?
- Does the application of charges at the checkpoints to shoppers using plastic bags contribute to the reduction of pollution caused by such materials?
- How would the ban on the usage of plastic bags when shopping at retail and grocery stores contribute to the sustainability of the environment in the United States?
The inquiry has considerable significance on the move towards the creation of a green environment. Thus, it would be integral in promoting a collaborative approach towards fostering the sustainability of the environment. Answering the research questions would underline the relevance of the inquiry.
The study would heighten awareness regarding the harmful outcomes of using plastic bags when shopping. Uncovering the threats posed by the plastic bags would emphasize the need to protect people, plants, and animals from harm caused by the waste that is usually difficult to dispose of efficiently. The inquiry is also significant since it would inspire the importance of sustainable development in the United States’ economy.
The study is also important since it would facilitate an evaluation of the various measures implemented to discourage the use of paper bags in the United States. Notably, the charges subjected to shoppers using the bags have realized insignificant successes in combating pollution. Moreover, the inquiry is relevant since it will facilitate the implementation of a policy that will be integral in tackling contamination in contemporary settings.
The inquiry holds the belief that plastic bags account for a significant degree of pollution of the water bodies. Therefore, failure to ban the use of plastic bags is believed to undermine the sustainability of the United States’ environment. However, the study assumes that paper bags have greater adverse effects on the environment compared to plastic bags.
The primary idea of this study is to uncover the relevance of banning the use of plastic bags in the United States. However, the study is prejudiced since it treats the plastic bags as if they are the principal cause of environmental degradation in the country. The environment faces degradation threats resulting from major pollutants such as industrial wastes and toxic gas emissions.
The undertaking of the inquiry would consider the integration of mixed research design. As such, the sample population would comprise of the key stakeholders who influence the use of plastic bags for shopping purposes. The research would use non-probability sampling methods to acquire the sample population. Stakeholders including policymakers, environmental conservation experts, and shoppers would constitute the sample population.
The preliminary research reveals that several states have established policies that ban the use of plastic bags as others are on the verge of making significant progress. However, there is a need to intensify the effectiveness of such policies in the entire country as a way to combat the problem of environmental degradation. In this regard, advocacy for the banning of plastic bags should take the center-stage in all the 50 states.
The prohibition would be a significant step towards the establishment of similar policies that seek to foster environmental conservation. The cost of cleaning up and recycling plastic bags poses a sizable burden on the taxpayer. Paper bags have an adverse implication on the environment in comparison to plastic bags. Nevertheless, winning small battles is what inspires stakeholders to pursue victory in wars. Conversations are underway to establish environmental policies that will prohibit the use of plastic bags across the United States. Environmentalists from the different states are coming together to push for comprehensive policies. The objective is to ensure that no state is left behind in the endeavor to conserve the environment.
The prohibition of the use of plastic bags in shopping at retail and grocery stores can go a long way towards conserving the environment instead of imposing charges on customers who disregard the essence of considering bio-degradable bags. The problem of the use of plastic bags is serious since it has the potential of harming the health of individuals who consume aquatic foods contaminated with toxins from the plastic bags wastes. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate the viability of banning plastic bags.
Clapp, Jennifer, and Linda Swanston. “Doing Away with Plastic Shopping Bags: International Patterns of Norm Emergence and Policy Implementation.” Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 3, 2009, pp. 315-332.
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Ritch, Elaine, et al. “Plastic Bag Politics: Modifying Consumer Behavior for Sustainable Development.” International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 33, no. 2, 2009, pp. 168-174.