The Critical Thinking Assignment Environmental Sciences Essay

July 17, 2017 Environmental Sciences

The usage of plastic bags warrants attending, particularly when packaging histories for a important sum of the resources consumed and waste generated by our consumer life styles. Governments, retail merchants and community militants are endeavoring to better sustainability public presentation by happening ways to cut down plastic bag usage.

The writers presented a balanced position of both advantages and disadvantages of plastics bags, which was important in measuring enterprises adopted by different states. Plastic bags are energy efficient to bring forth, cost-efficient, convenient to hive away and easy to utilize. However, they have inauspicious impacts in footings of waste disposal and one important job is that plastic bags are non-biodegradable and take at least hundred old ages to break up. When they break down in size, animate beings die as they mistaken the plastic bags for nutrient and consume them ( Aldred, 2007 ) . Plastic bags besides clog drainage systems and make pollution where discarded plastic bags float in oceans.

Other research by Russo ( 2012 ) found that big sums of money have to be spent on cleaning up the plastic bags and the amendss caused by them. However, the claim that many states spend a significant sum on cleaning up the plastic bags and the amendss caused by them is non justified. In many instances, these claims are simply conjectures by advocators alternatively of existent informations, and cost is frequently thrown in as a justification after prohibitions are enacted for political grounds ( Myers, 2012 ) . Science besides does non back up the fact that plastic bags do any echt injury. Plastic bags end up making less harm than other options and the benefits that the bags offer far outweigh their cost. Independent surveies besides show that plastic bags are environmentally preferred to paper bags because plastic bags have a lighter environmental footmark ( Gunther, 2011 ) . In add-on, current plastic bags use 70 % less fictile than those of 20 old ages antecedently and account for less fuel to transport, fewer emanations than paper bags ( ) .

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Mentions obtained by the writers were believable and dependable as information was based on recent informations and reputable beginnings. The writers provided a planetary position of attacks adopted by different states in cut downing their plastic usage, taking into consideration the point of views of both concerns and consumers. For illustration, in the UK, voluntary action is on the portion of consumers and the concern community to cut down plastic bag usage. In contrast, Taiwan banned the usage of plastic bags to cut down environmental issues such as litter. Russo ( 2012 ) found that by censoring plastic bags, financess would be redirected to substructures and consumer demand would switch toward other options, making chances for enterprisers to come up with options to plastic. Companies which manufacture reclaimable bags could besides spread out their merchandise lines and make more occupations.

However, research by Clover ( 2007 ) revealed that forbiddance of plastic bags would non be effectual in cut downing environmental issues as there would be an addition in paper bag production, ensuing in a greater sum of methane being released in landfill. Other research besides showed that censoring plastic bags does non assist the environment as it increase C emanations and other environmental jobs. Lane ( 2007 ) mentioned that even though most of the waste in landfill sites comes from packaging, plastic bags form merely a little fraction of the litter watercourse. They occupy lesser of the landfill infinite, taking to lesser nursery gases and pollution, as compared to wood and paper ( British Retail Consortium News, 2007 ) . Furthermore, censoring plastic bags would non extinguish the demand for refuse bags or other utilizations as consumers still have to purchase other bags for those intents. A prohibition would neither cut down nor recycle ( Myers, 2012 ) .

Therefore, states like UK do non back up an straight-out prohibition on plastic as it would non be a long-run solution in sustainable development. Alternatively, they seek other options such as paper bags or an imposed revenue enhancement on plastic bags. However, United Kingdom & A ; acirc ; ˆ™s Environment Agency ( 2011 ) found that options such as paper bags have a worse consequence on the environment than plastic bags. Harmonizing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plastic bags require 40 per centum less energy than paper bags and that paper bag fabrication creates 70 per centum more air pollution and 50 per centum more H2O pollution. Alternatives to plastic bags may besides non be practical because when authoritiess outlaw plastic bags to promote consumers to utilize other environmentally friendly merchandises, more pollution is really created ( Agresti, 2012 ) . There might besides be society and economic impacts on the less flush in footings of employment loss, due to cut down fictile bag fabrication ( British Retail Consortium News, 2007 ) .

Another possible option in bettering environmental public presentation could be the recycling of plastic bags in recycling centres, which the writers did non see. Recycling aid to diminish the demand for plastics bag production. & A ; Acirc ; However, it would be hard to treat automatically as the sorting of fictile waste is frequently labour intensive and cost intensive. Attempts to increase bag recycling have besides shown minimum success to day of the month ( Russo, 2012 ) .

Indeed, the procedure of altering consumer behavior in relation to plastic bag usage is complex as many variables are at drama. Therefore, I agree with the writers & A ; acirc ; ˆ™ premise that there are different positions as to how consumer behavior should be modified. For states such as Bangladesh and India, deluging and public wellness concerns resulted in the usage of statute law to censor the usage of plastic bags. In the UK, consumers are urged to cut down their usage of plastic bags while retail merchants are expected to present steps to promote consumers to move responsibly. Other states like Italy, Ireland and Denmark prefer to enforce revenue enhancement to promote consumers to cut down plastic bag usage and revenue enhancements collected can raise gross for farther environmental betterment. In Singapore, options to cut down the usage of plastic bags are still being considered, particularly on the function of retail merchants in bear downing consumers for plastic bags at check-out procedures.

To reason, the usage of plastic bags has an impact on sustainable ingestion. Changing consumer behaviour through voluntary action, statute law censoring the usage of plastic bags, or taxing their usage can do a difference to a more sustainable hereafter. However, the usage of stuffs and energy should non be restricted where merely unneeded usage of plastic bags is avoided. We ought to look from a macro position and non merely concentrate on the issue of plastic bags. In fact, there should be a sustainable usage of everything which includes support of public consciousness and motive to cut down, reuse and recycle ( 3Rs ) to decide environmental jobs.


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