I’m sure you can take one for the team and bring a reusable bag to the grocery store.

Journal.
I’m sure you can take one for the team and bring a reusable bag to the grocery store.

15Jan, 2020

Some products aren’t going anywhere based on their sheer necessity, but I’m sure you can take one for the team and remember to bring a reusable bag to the grocery store and not waste taxpayer money on a federal case about it.

The plastic ban is a contested issue between small government and big government intervention and the rights of small businesses. The “right” of small businesses to put their profit over the planet and once again prove that money in politics is not just an American issue but a Canadian one as well. The concept of the federal government having control over aspects of private businesses is not a new one, but it can be controversial if you invest in the pockets of these plastic companies. As a consumer, I feel the corporations must provide clean, accessible products for us to buy, not more expensive alternate options reserved for those who can afford them.

The plastic ban isn’t about just removing excess litter for the ocean, streets and homes, but to show these plastic manufacturing companies we don’t want their garbage, we don’t want to pay money for them to produce trash.

Victoria does not want your garbage; plastic bags are objectively trash.

When the topic of alternative use products with greener origins, it is most often contested as more expensive for the consumer while we don’t take into account the apparent factor that these companies should have an obligation not to create material that is blatantly wasteful and in some cases toxic. The government regulates basic things and a lot of small local business owners, and larger tycoons joining in on the bandwaggon, have voiced their concerns for federal regulation in their establishments.

To that point, I sympathize, but the end of just one wasteful habit that is quickly replaced by bringing your reusable bag is well more important than the “right” for you to uphold a system that does not need support. These companies don’t just create garbage; they emit copious amounts of chemicals while doing it.

Maggie New, a writer from Sciencing.com, explains, “Plastic bags are from the same source as all plastic: crude oil. Like everything else manufactured from this non-renewable resource, it has two major drawbacks: manufacturing it emits considerable amounts of pollution, and the product is not biodegradable. In other words, it is difficult to produce and nearly impossible to get rid of once produced. According to the Natural Environment website, 60 to 100 million barrels of oil are required to manufacture a year’s worth of plastic bags worldwide, and it takes approximately 400 years, at least for a bag to biodegrade.”

The contrarian opposition is correct that there are a lot of other products that need change, so why plastic bags? You’re right.

Compounds that do not degrade, and are heightening our carbon footprint that exasperates the highly contested carbon tax. There are women all over Canada that struggle to afford or gain access to sanitary pads and feminine hygiene products, let alone buy the expensive alternatives. Enterprises that knowingly produce and sell a necessity that is responsible for an enormous amount of waste should bare accountability too. For example, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, writes, “Close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year. When wrapped in plastic bags, feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade. The average woman uses over 11,000 tampons over her lifetime, leaving behind residue far beyond her lifespan.” As a woman, I cannot decide not to use these products, what I can choose to stop using plastic bags to carry them home. The problem we as a city should have is not about the government regulating the private industry but how the people aren’t doing enough to control it. Far too long, Canada has had to compromise to the greedy needs of these senseless corporations and bought politicians who are making a federal case about their right to create and sell garbage.

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