Plastic Bags In The Philippines

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With the continuing rise of global warming, government officials are instituting new environmental policies, citizens are searching for methods, like recycling, to help the environment, and scientists are conducting more in-depth studies on environmental issues such as the debate on which grocery bag is better for the environment. Because of the common notion of plastic bags being an environmental hazard, plastic bags have commonly been the target of the new environmental policies. In an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer published June 20, 2013, Agence France-Presse reported on the ban of the use of plastic grocery bags and Styrofoam containers in the city of Makati, Philippines. According to Makati’s environmental services department project officer Prexy Marcana, the city was pushed by clogged waterways, which plays a major factor in the heavy flooding in the Philippines, to enforce the ban. In support of the ban, people carrying, using, or distributing plastic bags are charged with a fine of Php5000.

The shift from plastic to paper easily seems to be advantageous for the environment, but scientific studies have shown that this is not necessarily the case. James Agresti (2012) discussed in an article for the Wall Street Journal that the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency conducted a study in 2011 and results showed that paper bags have a larger impact on the environment when it comes to global warming potential, abiotic depletion, acidification, eutrophication,

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