Save the Environment: Fee on Plastic bags in grocery stores in Florida.

Save the Environment: Fee on Plastic bags in grocery stores in Florida.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
Zahra Zafar started this petition to Governor Ron DeSantis and

Petition 

Those of us who shop at Costco or IKEA know that plastic bags are not necessary. Currently, 2 million single-use plastic bags consumed every minute. On average, plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, then are disposed of. These same bags wind up clogging our sewers and blocking our waterways. The worst part is that plastic bags never completely go away. They just continue to break down in toxic bits polluting the soil and the ocean. 


Problem: The use of plastic bags is causing harm to our environment. 


Solution: Charge a 10 to 20 cent fee on plastic bags at all stores throughout Florida.

Why are plastic bags harmful?


  • They don’t break down. Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade – breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment.
  • They pollute the soil and ocean and harm its wildlife. As it breaks down, plastic particles contaminate soil and waterways and enter the food web when A significant number of cows, for example, die each year after eating plastic bags that end up in their grazing grounds. This has been a particularly big problem in India, where cows are numerous and trash-collection sporadic. Upon surgical examination, many of the cows injured by this plastic plague are found to have 50 or more plastic bags in their digestive tracts Already stressed by habitat destruction, decades of poaching, and climate change, sea turtles are at particular risk from plastic bags, as they often mistake them for jellyfish – a popular food for many sea turtle species. In fact, researchers from the University of Queensland recently determined that approximately 52 percent of the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic debris – much of it undoubtedly originating in the form of plastic bags. When polythene bags are burned, they produce toxic fumes and pollute the air. Marine animals swallow plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and die. Even after animal bodies decompose, the plastic bags stay intact, and another animal can get hurt. 
  • They clog the sewage system. Even in urban areas, where wildlife is relatively scarce, plastic bags cause significant environmental harm. Runoff water collects and carries discarded plastic bags and ultimately washes them into storm sewers. Once in these sewers, the bags often form clumps with other types of debris and ultimately block the flow of water. For example, roads often flood when storm sewers become blocked, which forces them to be closed until the water drains. This excess water can damage cars, buildings, and other property, and it also collects pollutants and spreads them far and wide, where they cause additional damage. Clogged storm sewers can also disrupt the water flow throughout local watersheds. Blocked sewer pipes can starve local wetlands, creeks, and streams of the water they require, which can lead to massive die-offs and in some cases, total collapse. 
  • Plastic bags contribute to global warming and air pollution. The burning of plastics releases toxic gases like dioxins, furans, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (better known as BCPs) into the atmosphere, and poses a threat to vegetation, and human and animal health. Burning plastic also releases black carbon (soot), which contributes to climate change and air pollution

What are the long term effects of this problem if it is not solved?


  • The view of plastic pollution in 50 years. Currently, the role plastic has played in the destruction of our environment is bleak enough. But when we zoom out to project 50 years into the future, the forecast is even more dismaying. As plastic continues to grow in distribution, so will the hormonal and chemical effects onto our bodies, water systems, and air. By 2050, researchers believe that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean as the rate of plastic production and plastic pollution continues to compound with each coming year. Further, the creation of plastics heavily utilizes fossil fuels, which has been inextricably linked to the quickening of climate change. 
  • Plastic on the ocean's surface can trap sunlight, making the surface warmer and reducing the amount of light and heat traveling to the depths of the ocean. If plastic litter were to cover the ocean's surface, it can have ripple effects on marine ecosystems and affect the planet's climate system, the scientists warn

What are the long term effects of this problem if it is not solved?


  • The view of plastic pollution in 50 years. Currently, the role plastic has played in the destruction of our environment is bleak enough. But when we zoom out to project 50 years into the future, the forecast is even more dismaying. As plastic continues to grow in distribution, so will the hormonal and chemical effects onto our bodies, water systems, and air. By 2050, researchers believe that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean as the rate of plastic production and plastic pollution continues to compound with each coming year. Further, the creation of plastics heavily utilizes fossil fuels, which has been inextricably linked to the quickening of climate change. 
  • Plastic on the ocean's surface can trap sunlight, making the surface warmer and reducing the amount of light and heat traveling to the depths of the ocean. If plastic litter were to cover the ocean's surface, it can have ripple effects on marine ecosystems and affect the planet's climate system, the scientists warn.

How would placing a fee on bags help?

  • Plastic bag use fell by 90% in Ireland following a plastic bag tax of 37 cents.
  • In Australia, 2 major retailers led by eliminating plastic bags in their stores, and the country reduced plastic bag use by 80% in 3 months.
  • In Los Angeles County, a plastic bag ban with a charge on paper bags reduced single bag use by 95%. 

*sources available upon request*

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!