Plastic bags pose a threat to our environment. Yes, the grocery bags that we get free from the supermarkets. Every year, the United state uses 380 billion plastic bags per year, while 500 billion to 1 trillion are used worldwide. The annual cost for U.S. retailers is about $4 billion per yea. The production of plastic bags also use the petroleum we use to fuel our cars! Also, plastic bags find their way to the ocean, harming the sea life that is found there, such as sea turtles who think the plastic bag is jellyfish. Upon of all of that, plastic bags don't biodegrade. Instead, they photodegrade, which means that they break down into toxic bits and contaminate the environment around them.
So what can we do? We can introduce a plastax, a small "tax" or fee for each of the plastic bags we get in the supermarket. We get so many plastic bags in the supermarket when it is not even necessary. Perhaps a 3 cents or 5 cents fee on each bag can raise our awareness, and gradually decrease our usage of plastic bags. The money would not be used as a profit, but preferably donated to an environmental organization. Then, this would encourage us to use reusable bags, which will reduce our usage of plastic bags! PlasTax is already used in Ireland, which decreased approximately 94% of the plastic bags used- which was about 1 billion less plastic bags! If the United States and other countries could follow their example, we can decrease the amount of plastic bags used drastically! SO LET'S TAKE ACTION.
Remember... just a small change can make a whole difference in the world.
*We are a group of high school students who hope that a group of people's action can spread and inspire others*
We the undersigned would like to like to propose to a tax on disposable plastic bags. Every year, United States consumes 380 billion plastic bags and only 1% to 2% of those bags are actually recycled. The rest of the bags are left to litter onto streets, finding their ways to waterways and getting caught in trees.
Plastic bags pose a huge threat in our environment. During the production, distribution and disposal of these bags, many greenhouse gases are released into the air, causing global warming. For every five plastic bags, one kilogram of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Plastic bags are just about everywhere, and when they floating in the sea, they are easily mistaken as food. Hundreds of marine animals die because of mistaking plastic bags as food. Also once plastic bags are made, they stay on earth forever. Though there are biodegradable plastic bags, they are not really biodegradable. Biodegradable plastic bags are just bags which can be broken down to smaller polymers (invisible to the naked eye) faster than regular plastic bags. These polymers are still toxic to the environment, and they pollute the soil and waterways and are accidentally ingested by animals. These problems can all be avoided by not using plastic bags.
Replacing plastic bags with paper bags are not the answer, because many studies have shown that paper bags has almost the same amount of negative effects to the environment as plastic bags do. We need to stop encouraging the usage of plastic bags and add a tax onto the each plastic bag taken by the consumer.
Many countries have taken the initiative encourage the use of reusable bags instead of using disposable plastic bags. Ireland is one of these countries and the Irish government had introduced a tax on plastic bags (PlasTax) which turned to be a great success. Within weeks PlasTax, the consumption of plastic bags dropped 94%. China is also a country which has taken a step towards reducing the consumption of plastic bags. Many stores have taken the initiative as well. Such as Whole Foods Market, which has planned to ban the usage of plastic bags, and the IKEA stores in United States have started to charge a nickel for each plastic bag a customer takes.
So many people around the world are trying to help save the environment. Now it is time for United States to as well. Hopefully, by adding tax onto plastic bags, consumers will stop relying on using plastic bags and eventually we would be able to ban the usage of plastic bags. Thank you for taking your time to read this letter, and we hope some action could be taken.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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