Plastic bag “ban” has good intentions, but more needs to be done


Julia Barbati

Throughout the past few years, many have been making headway into improving our environment and making conscious decisions to achieve this. Earlier this month, Pittsburgh City Council made a decision to attempt to reduce waste in the city.

The Council passed the legislation of “banning” plastic bags with a substitute of paper or option of a reusable bag. While the ideals behind this plan are right-minded, it may create more problems than anticipated.

The “ban” is  truly more like an option. While at checkout, businesses will offer a paper bag instead of plastic to carry items in. While this may appeal to the general public, the fee may quickly change some minds. Each bag comes with a ten cent fee, and while this doesn’t seem like much, it can quickly add up.

This ten cent fee is implemented due to the fact that paper bags will be more expensive to purchase than plastic, which is understandable, but will make less people want to make the change.

Along with this option, plastic bags will automatically be used for heavier goods such as fruits, vegetables, and packaged items, according to the Post-Gazette. The rest of the items will either be put into a paper or reusable bag if the customer provides it.

Is this truly a “ban” if plastic will still be frequently used, just in a smaller amount? It is evident that there is a change trying to be made for the better, and that should not go unrecognized, but the execution of the plan isn’t that great.

Yes, pollution from plastic bags is a major issue and causes an extreme amount of unnecessary pollution, but in order to make a larger change, plastic bags should not be the only targeted issue.

Small steps towards sustainability are still progress and the pollution throughout the Pittsburgh area will be reduced, but it will be occurring at a slower rate than what is needed due to the fact that the legislation is not truly banning plastic bags from being used.

With the way our planet is quickly declining, there is no time to waste in making more conscious and sustainable choices. If changes are going to be implemented, they need to have quick results and visible progress. This means getting rid of the things that are making our communities decline, not allowing them to be an option.

While the plastic bag “ban” has good intentions to help the environment, there are many ways that this plan will not work out as anticipated and we will be back to square one on what to do to urgently save our planet from the destruction we have caused.