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A single mom, or someone working two jobs, is more likely to have to do her shopping in a rush on the way home from work than to go out specifically with a tote bag in hand.But for UPROSE, that concern is outweighed by the negative impacts of plastic bags on disadvantaged communities.
People still need bags to bring home their groceries.
And the most common substitute, paper bags, may be just as bad or worse, depending on the environmental problem you’re most concerned about.
“The big difference is that paper does biodegrade eventually.
Plastic is a toxin that stays in the environment, marine animals ingest it, and it enters their bodies and then ours.”Some social justice activists who work in low-income urban neighborhoods or communities of color also argue that plastic bags are a particular scourge.
Like cigarettes, plastic bags have recently gone from a tolerated nuisance to a widely despised and discouraged vice.
Essay On Reusable Bags
Last month, the New York City Council passed a 5-cent-per-bag fee on single-use bags handed out by most retailers.Already in Massachusetts, 32 towns and cities have passed bag bans or fees.So have at least 88 localities in California, including the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, plus cities and towns in more than a dozen other states and more than a dozen other countries.Two weeks ago, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a measure that would ban plastic bags from being dispensed by many retail businesses and require a charge of 10 cents or more for a recycled paper or reusable bag.The Massachusetts proposal may not become law this year, but it’s the latest sign that the plastic bag industry is losing this war.Increasingly, environmentalists are pushing for laws that include fees for all single-use bags, and that require paper bags to be made with recycled content, which could lower their carbon footprint.The measure now under consideration in Massachusetts, for example, would mandate that single-use paper bags contain at least 40 percent recycled fiber.Others, like in New York City, treat all single-use bags equally.Even then, the question remains as to whether single-use bags are necessarily always worse than reusable ones.If a plastic bag is reused in the home as the garbage bag in a bathroom waste bin, does that reduce its footprint by eliminating the need for another small plastic garbage bag?If your chief concern is climate change, things get even muddier.