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4 Great Examples of Cities That Have Banned Plastic Bags

Friday, June 30, 2017 | Comments (0)

It’s no secret that plastic bags, particularly single-use plastic bags, are awful for the environment. They’re non-biodegradable and hard to recycle, which means they often end up clogging waterways and cause floods, or sit around in landfills for thousands of years. And if you burn plastic, the oil-based fumes can literally burn a hole through the ozone layer.

Bottom line? While they’re convenient, plastic bags put a huge burden on the environment. The good news is that some governments around the world are finally taking notice. Here’s a quick look at a few shining examples of cities and communities that have banned plastic bags.

  1. 1. San Francisco (United States of America)

If there’s one good thing that came out of San Francisco is a hipster mecca in California, it would be their progressive attitudes on protecting the environment. The city was the first in the entire United States to formally ban plastic bottles, which they did in 2014. The rest of California followed suit, passing a law that would phase out single-use plastic bags—the first state in the nation to pass such legislation.

  1. 2. Montreal (Canada)

In 2016, Montreal bore the distinction of being the largest city in Canada to prohibit retailers from handing out plastic bags. Its City Council passed a bylaw restricting the distribution of plastic bags less than 50 micrometers in thickness, effectively phasing out single-use plastic bags. However, these bags can still be used to store meats, produce, and fruit. Thicker plastic bags will still be allowed to encourage people to reuse them.

  1. 3. Cities in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, and ACT (Australia)

Although Australia has yet to pass a nationwide law banning plastic bags, the states of South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and ACT have independently initiated their phase-out. Queensland is expected to follow suit in July 2017.

The plastic bag ban enjoys strong public support in states where it’s in effect, putting pressure on New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia to “ban the bag.”

  1. 4. Dhaka, Bangladesh

In 1989 and 1998, Bangladesh experienced some of the most disastrous flooding the world had ever seen. Worse, the pools of standing water led to the drastic increase of water-borne diseases. Officials later learned that the culprit behind the severe flooding were the millions of lightweight polyethylene plastic bags that had found their way into waterways and sewers, preventing the normal flow of water.

As a result, in 2002, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to pass nationwide legislation against plastic bags. Bangladesh has an unusually high annual rainfall volume, and even with the plastic bag ban, it is still struggling to build better flood-proof infrastructure.

Even if you live in a part of the world that has yet to take official action against plastic bags, you can still take proactive steps to combat this problem. Simple measures like using reusable shopping bags or using a Nalgene bottle instead of buying disposable water bottles are better than relying on disposable plastics.

If you would like to know more about sustainable alternatives to plastic bags, let the online packaging specialists of Smartbag help you! We are Australia’s leading provider of custom printed bags and logo bags. Visit our contact page to get in touch with the Smartbag team.

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