Ban Plastic Bags, Omaha, Nebraska!
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Plastic bags have recently become an issue in Omaha, and its come down to a choice between banning plastic bags or charging a 5-10 cent fee for their use. We must urge our elected officials at Omaha City Hall to ban plastic bags. If you already believe in a plastic bag ban, please sign the petition. If you'd like to know more, please continue reading.
There are more than enough reasons to ban plastic bags, listed here are a few of them. The plastic bags are used an average of 12 minutes, but are made from non renewable resources that directly contribute to global climate change. Here are 10 of the most important reasons to ban plastic bags in Omaha.
1. Plastic bags pollute our environment. They are an environmental nuisance, and we need to end their use in Omaha. Besides polluting our backyard trees, fences and ditches, they clog up the city's sewage drains, float around in waterways and eventually make their way into the oceans.
2. Plastic bags are made from fossil fuel based resources. They contribute to the problems of climate change because these materials are non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources. Through their extraction and production, they create greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change.
3. Plastic bags never break down. They linger in the environment, get eaten by animals or end up the ocean where they build up.
4. Plastic bags threaten wildlife and sea life. Plastic bags are mistaken for food by land animals, birds and marine life. Once the plastic is consumed by these creatures, it congests their digestive systems and leads to infections or even suffocation.
5. Plastic bags are harmful to human health. Plastic fragments in the ocean from plastic bags absorb certain pollutants that are known to be hormone disrupting chemicals. Marine animals that consume these materials, they eventually make it into humans through consumption.
6. Plastic bags have unseen financial pitfalls. Plastic bags are anything but free. The cost of plastic bag cleanup is about 17 cents per bag, and on average, taxpayers end up paying about $88 per year just on plastic bag waste.
7. Plastic bags are difficult to recycle. Plastic bags get caught in recycling machinery and most facilities do not have the capacity to recycle plastic bags. The actual rate for recycling plastic bags is just 5%.
8. Plastic bags have external costs. These costs include the true environmental costs of resource extraction & depletion, quality of life loss, economic loss from littering, & wildlife loss. These costs are typically not included in most economic analyses, but negative impacts are very real.
9. Better alternatives exist with positive economic impacts. Reusable shopping bags are very durable and can be reused many times over the course of their useful life. The manufacturing of reusable bags is also another opportunity to create sustainable products and the jobs that go with them.
10. Other governments already ban plastic bags! Ours should too! More than 40 countries and municipalities around the world have instituted plastic bag bans. The United Nations Environmental Programme Secretariat has recommended a ban on all plastic bags globally.
Plastic bags pollute the environment, and are currently building up in the ocean. They never breakdown, cause harm to animals that eat them, and can also harm humans if they become part of our food supply. There are also many unseen costs, including the costs to clean up the mess plastic bags leave. The production of plastic bags contributes greatly to fossil fuel use and therefore climate change. There is a growing movement to ban the use of plastic bags, and Omaha should be a very important part of that movement, please ban plastic bags!
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