When it comes to reducing the plastics in our oceans and the wider eco-systems, a holistic approach is needed with people around the world needing to do their part. This is particularly true in cities where high human activity often leads to increased pollution. Here are 5 cities from around the world who have made huge strides towards sustainability by banning and taxing plastic bags.
In 2015, Chicago introduced a ban on thin plastic bags throughout the city district. This whilst a positive change had mixed results. Many citizens started to use paper bags as disposable, which ended up creating more waste within the city. After this Chicago introduced a 7-cent tax on the bags instead. This highlights that if you are making the switch to paper bags you have to ensure you use them in a sustainable manner.
The ban on plastic bags by Delhi this year has led to an estimated 3,800 kg of polythene bags being seized by the authorities. The initiative, aimed at promoting the use of reusable paper bags has seen great success in cleaning up the streets of the city which prior to the ban had some of the worst plastic pollution within the country.
- Washington D.C
The US capital joined the fight in promoting reusable bags by introducing a 5-cent charge on single-use bags in 2010. Since this method was introduced many shoppers have started to bring their own reusable paper bags. It was noted that people in the city tended to respond better in terms of reusable bag adoption when the charge was framed as a loss rather than a gain.
- San Francisco
In 2007, San Francisco became the first city to ban single-use plastics in the US. This came alongside a 10 cent charge on paper bags and other recycled ones. Since the introduction, the measures have helped to reduce the total level of plastic pollution with many shoppers now bringing their own reusable paper bags to spare themselves of the 10 cent charge.
- Mexico City
Mexico City recently banned the use of plastic bags throughout the city limits. This has helped not only in reducing the total number of plastic bags from ending up in the landfill but also in promoting the adoption of reusable paper bags in the country. This new demand has led to a spring of high-quality paper bag manufacturers rising to get sustainable products to satisfied customers.