Monday, December 3, 2012

To Ban, or Not to Ban?

That is the plastic bag question!

Recently a global movement is taking place to decrease the use of plastic bags. Many cities around the world have already banned plastic bags; Modbury, England; Mexico City, Mexico;  Delhi, India; San Francisco, United States; and the entire country of Rwanda.  These efforts are being made due to the many negative effects that plastic bags have on the environment. Considering the scale at which plastic bags are currently relied on, the usage and thus damage done is enormous.
Following are some statistics provided by

* According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers: $4 billion)

* Only 1-3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
* Plastic bags are made of polyethylene which is a petroleum product. Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.

* It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down.
* Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags. Not only that, these poor animals suffer a painful death. The plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death.

 A snapping turtle caught in plastic
According to, the solution however is not a ban. They argue that this will evoke a emotional response. Which can in turn result in opposition. This has recently been witnessed in Illinois, when a bill was proposed to prohibit the enactment of laws that would ban plastic bags. This bill was strongly supported by businesses, especially the plastic bag industry, because it would ensure that plastic bags would always be allowed to be in usage. instead proposes a tax. Click on the link below to find more information on their idea of an effective solution.

What do you think? Is it important to decrease our usage of plastic bags? Which is better according to you, a ban, a tax, or maybe another option? Is your city of permanent residence making any efforts to decrease the amount of plastic bags use annually?  

Whether at home or staying at a hostel, next time you go grocery shopping, consider bringing a reusable bag instead of a plastic one. Especially since now in many cities it may not be wise to assume that you will simply be provided with bags for no extra cost.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Moderating Principles for Activist Movements: Incorporating Political & Social Realities into Movements

Activist Movements in the 20th century lack the insights gained from approaching activism thru long-term planning. As a former occupy wall street supporter and observer it's important for us to analyze the failures of the movement in order to facilitate means and modalities of novel activism that incorporate recognition of social, political, and economic realities facing our various agendas. For example, activism and radicalism as always been seen thru the lens of a fringe movements which fail to appeal to the popular masses. We must learn to accept the definition as a hippie, greenster, energy snob, radical, idealist, a bleeding heart liberal but through our acceptance of who we are we must also learn the organizational principles and long-term planning of various movements thru councils, committees, and congresses that meet at raliles, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and protests or virtual platforms are living and breathing metaphors of how powerful a collective group of us feel about the failures of institutions to protect basic equality for all of us. These metaphors that try to "wake up society." In understanding a need to plank these idealistic and noble ventures we then must begin a plan of action to support moderate positions in recognition of trends and how education and incremental shifts in policy ultimately can lead to a successful end-game scenario.

For Example: Plastic Bags

They are dumb! Stupid honestly! Have you ever noticed how much noise they make? I would ban em just because of that but after reading this blog I discovered how harmful they are to the environment and serve no useful purpose but were we to start a war on them and banning them worldwide we don't respect our enemies out there. The different lobbies whether they be financial, pharmaceutical, banking, power-elite, or an antiquated political systems have power, organizational resources, and propaganda machines to insure we feed into a radical movement that by definition can be deemed too foreign or anti-thetical to the masses resistance to change; therefore, a grass-roots led campaign district to district around the world fed thru social networking and guides to successful changes in political institutions offer us ways of finding successfull curbing of the deadly plastics. Our war cry is for the death of plastic bags but thru the piecemeal targeting of the map nation by nation we can start a battle that one day could see a map essentially empty of plastic bags. Will we ever beat the industry today or this month? Yes. If we organize this movement and keep track of our successes and failures then we will win this war one step at a time.

Imagine a world congress of citizens of this world developing a platform of activism and change that we see for Earth's
necessity for survival and from this congress we develop an virtual society that has Utopian ideals yet understands "pradicalism" or the practical application of radical love of our environment and the belief that all humans deserve a right and an opportunity to live a life free of oppression, ignorance, and fear; rather an existence of a human society that learns how our differences and similarities can help bridge a world full of opportunity and exploration.

We must create a Social Network and governance system that we build and learn how to give this movement arms and legs. Thru the global networks we could build an alternative governance system that operates as a way to institutionalize and build democratic inroads to a group that thru our collective strength could help balance Earth back to where we live in harmony with ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet's complex eco system. .