The Ban of a Common Staple: Plastic Bags

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Think of all the places you shop. You probably frequently visit the local Wal-Mart, the local Dollar General or even the McKendree bookstore, where, most likely, your items are stuffed into the thin, plastic bags that you throw away when you get back to your room, save to use for your trashcan or hopefully, if you are environmentally conscious, you recycle. In California, though, according to the Wall Street Journal, the state legislature recently passed a bill that will ban the use of plastic bags if the governor, Jerry Brown, signs it. Obviously, a ban on plastic bags would improve the quality of the environment.

In the state of Illinois, Chicago approved a ban on plastic bags back in April of this year that will take place August 2015. Joseph Erbentraut of Huffington Post said that “fines between $300 and $500” would be posed if ever there is a violation, and that “retailers occupying stores that are more than 10,000 square foot will no longer be allowed to offer plastic bags. The ban will be extended to smaller chain stores and franchises in August 2016, while small independent or non-franchise stores and restaurants will not be affected by the legislation.”

Is California setting a precedent that all states will soon follow to ban plastic bags? In Illinois, the ban on plastic bans has already begun in the biggest city of the state. If the ban became nationwide, everyone, including students at McKendree University, would have to change their habits, making the change a new “first world problem.” Instead of expecting the grocer to bag your purchases, consumers would need to invest in durable grocery bags and remember to carry them to the store. There is a downside to this green ban, though, such as what will happen to the workers who make those plastic bags? But, is getting rid of a common, everyday object like the plastic bag not a small price to pay to protect the environment, reduce littering and save animals’ lives?

Check out the following links if you would like to learn more about the banning of plastic bags.

California Legislature Passes Ban on Disposable Plastic Bags

Huffington Post – Chicago Bans Plastic Bags

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