Myth Busters

MYTH

Plastic bag bans and taxes are spreading like wildfires across states and cities across the country

TRUTH

Only a handful of municipalities have enacted bans or taxes on plastic bags after we were able to provide information to legislators explaining that they don’t work to reduce bag litter, and that a better environmental policy is to promote a reduce, reuse and recycle strategy.

MYTH

We need to reduce plastic bag usage to conserve oil which is a natural resource.

TRUTH

This is a common misperception.  85% of plastic bags used in the United States are American-made and come from come from natural gas, not foreign oil.  Actually, reusable bags, mostly made in China, are made from foreign oil.  We are importing hundreds of millions of reusable bags a year, and these bags cannot be recycled.

MYTH

The Plas Tax in Ireland was a hugs success.

TRUTH

Taxing grocery bags only results in consumers having to purchase heavy-gauge bags for common uses like lining their garbage pails.  In Australia, bin liner sales doubled after a ban on plastic grocery bags.

A study by the Scottish government also found that a tax on plastic bags would increase a consumer’s bin liner purchase costa by roughly $5.00 per person.

MYTH

Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill, wouldn’t paper bags be better since it is biodegradable?

TRUTH

In modern landfills, practically nothing degrades, even paper bags.  Plastic bags are more resource efficient and generate 80 percent less waste than paper bags, and take up a lot less space in landfills.

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