Stefanie Wang of St. Mary’s College of California opined March 24 on the Palo Alto, CA ban on plastic bags:
Palo Alto recently banned single use plastic shopping bags in supermarkets. What seems like a green, environment-conscious move may prove more troublesome than officials originally thought. In fact, it is much worse than their current situation. City officials hoped that townspeople would bring their own recyclable bags instead of opting for paper bags post-ban. They did not count on being sued for this decision.
According to recent reports on the ban, the attorney for the Save the Plastic Bag group, Stephen Joseph said the group is considering suing the city of Palo Alto for the ban. In addition to the possibility of a financial and legal mess, city officials overlooked the fact that paper bags are harmful to the environment as well. So not only are officials overlooking the impact paper bags have on the environment, they are also overlooking what repercussions will ensue among the plastic bag industries and people who actually understand the scientific studies done on disposable bags.
Plastic bags require less energy and materials to manufacture as they are made from oil and natural gas. Their production impacts the environment less than paper bags production…
… the ban could be as disastrous as the one San Francisco implemented in 2007. San Francisco is the only city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags. No other cities follow suit because it is a bad idea. Plastic bag litter did not decrease. It actually increased after the ban went into effect according to the San Francisco’s “Street Litter Audit.”