With every environmentalist supporting Mayor Rahm Emanuel's recommendation of a ban on plastic bags in all stores in Chicago, there are people who suggest taking this ban a step further. They suggest imposing a fee on paper bags as well, which are only slightly less hazardous to the environment than plastic bags.

Will the Ban Be Effective without a Fee on Paper Bags?

A ban on single use plastic bags is something that Chicago needed for the longest time. Though these bags come cheap and are convenient to use, they pose a great hazard to the environment. They take years to decompose. They are very lightweight and get carried away for miles with even the slightest breeze, littering every possible street and park.

They also clog storm water drains and then a lot of money needs to be spent to fish them out of there. They fly to rivers and get carried to the sea and kill sea animals that choke on these bags. Even other animals like calves and lambs on farms have died of choking on plastic bags.

The money spent on removing these bags from trees, unclogging drains and then transporting these plastic bags to landfills is an unnecessary expenditure which can be avoided if people consciously stop using these bags.

This ban on plastic bags would definitely serve the purpose of reducing unwanted plastic waste in Chicago. But just a ban on plastic bags would mean that people would simply switch to paper bags, which would be the same- imagine the number of trees being cut down to make all those bags.

So it is imperative that a fee be imposed on paper bags. A small, 10-cent fee would not hurt anyone much, but would still be enough to remind people to get their own bags when they go out shopping. Maybe that would encourage people to use more environment-friendly options like custom-printed totes.

Custom Printed Totes Are a More Eco-Friendly Option Instead of Paper Bags

With a ban on plastic bags and a fee on paper bags, it would be best for people to start using reusable bags - they are a better option than both, anyway. They are sturdy and come in all possible colors, sizes and patterns. They look very trendy and stylish and could be your personal style statement.

Retailers and store owners should do their bit by encouraging customers to bring reusable bags and distributing custom printed totes to their customers as a reward for adopting environment-friendly practices. People need to co-operate with administrators and take responsible steps to save the planet from plastic menace.

Source: http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/26498663-474/ban-plastic-bags-but-not-without-a-paper-fee.html