Are plastic bags actually good for the environment?

by Stephanie Zolis

Source: Canadian Living

A study from the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas contends that plastic bag bans are bad for the environment.

Researchers looked at six American cities (including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington) that restricted the use of plastic bags through bans, restrictions and taxes from 2005 to 2012. Their findings? An increase in solid waste revenues and expenses, as well as garbage and recycling rates.

“The alternatives—paper bags and reusable bags—use more energy, use more resources, produce more greenhouse gases and produce more waste and pollution than plastic grocery bags,” says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the centre. “In short, plastic bags are the green alternative. They save money, and they save the environment.”

None of the cities enjoyed any considerable savings or benefits from the restrictive measures, according to the study. The centre calls for plastic bag critics to provide evidence showing plastic bag restrictions reduce cities’ solid waste costs.