Oregonian Plastic bag tax: To reuse bags or to refuse tax?
Statistics reveals that 800,000 tons of plastic bags are used yearly in the European Union. In 2010, the average citizen used 191 of them but only 6% were recycled; yet, more than 4 billion bags are thrown away each year (Summers, 2012). However, some countries have banned using plastic bags completely; others, such as China and South Africa, banned only ultra-thin plastic bags, while in number of countries, a tax has been imposed. Plastic bags are commonly dumped everywhere; they could be found on parks, over trees, on beaches. They require great efforts to be collected and controlled, and that is one reason behind the ban ordinance in many places. In Ireland’s case, a tax of 15-euro cent on using plastic bags has been enacted in 2002. This successfully contributed to decrease the use of this kind of bags by 95%, and therefore, led to less litter in the surroundings and saved the energy used to recycle (Summers, 2012). According to the WordWatch Institute, in Washington D.C., a five-cent tax per plastic bag brought the percentage of residents’ monthly use of plastic bags down from 22.5 million, before the levy was introduced in 2010, to 3 million today. This small amount of tax would have a significant result in saving the environment if it is considered by the governments as an option to reduce pollution. The Oregon Legislative Assembly should enact a five-cent tax on plastic bags for many reasons. First, these bags have a negative impact on the environment; secondly, by enacting this levy the plastic-bag industry would be enticed to produce new products that don’t harm living things; and finally, this levy would increase the environmental awareness among the people and encourage them to rethink about their daily habits. The impact of plastic bags on the environment is very damaging. As already mentioned, plastic bags are discarded everywhere not only in landfills, which make it very difficult to...
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