We can understand reducing the use of single-use plastic bags. Plastic litter can have serious consequences, from clogging storm drains to dramatically altering ocean habitats.
However, it makes no sense to eliminate paper bags or discourage their use by charging a fee. Paper bags are made from renewable resources and are easy to recycle. If left as litter, they can disintegrate so fast they won’t necessarily accumulate in the environment.
A reason given for reducing the use of paper bags is the environmental impact of manufacturing the bags. The environmental impact is considerably less than manufacturing clothing, electronics, home appliances, personal transportation, etc. How many other conveniences should be eliminated to lessen their environmental impact?
Reusable grocery bags are mostly made from synthetic materials that are manmade products made from coal and petroleum. They can take 30 to 40 years to biodegrade. Studies have found that the bacteria levels found in reusable bags, even canvas, are significant enough to cause a wide range of serious health problems and even lead to death.
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We support reducing the use of single-use plastic bags but do not agree with reducing the use of single-use paper bags.