Friday, January 18, 2008

PlasTax in Ireland

I found this national geographic article discussing the debate of paper versus plastic, and it is very similar to what we talked about in class. One of the refrences it uses is The site has a lot of quick facts about why plastic bags have become such a hot topic in energy conversations.
An earlier post talks about bans on platic bags in China and other places. I want to answer the question they posted, asking if a ban of that sort could work in America. I don't think a ban could work here. At least not initially. They are too much a part of our everyday life. People use them to line their bathroom trashcans, as lunch sacks, to pick up after their dog on a walk and plenty of other things. Most people have a bunch of wadded ones stored in a plastic bag under their sink, or in the pantry.
What we should be trying to accomplish is decrease the excess use; put a few more items in each bag, and decide if double bagging is really necessary. Ireland came up with a way for consumers to be concious of the amount of plastic bags they are using by implementing a tax on the bags. Their tax is 20 cents per bag, which seems high, but it was effective. It dropped their plastic bag consumption by 90%. We don't necessarily need a tax that steep here, but there have been 3-5 cent suggestions which would accomplish the goal to increase awareness about using more bags than you need. I feel like once people realize how many bags they waste, their usage would be cut down, and that's all we could really hope for at this point.

1 comment:

L Passaniti said...

I think it's interesting that plastic bags have become such a source of contention lately...I know much of Europe has been charging for plastic bags at grocery markets for a while now (about 10 cents).