Plastic is everywhere, from shopping malls to restaurants to people’s homes. Recently, environmentalists are turning to banning single-use plastics as the solution to the buildup of single-use plastics in the ocean. However, what environmentalists do not realize is that banning single-use plastics can negatively impact both the economy and the environment. Governments should not ban single-use plastics because the plastic industry brings in a huge amount of taxes and revenue, the single-use plastics provide jobs for people, and alternatives to single-use plastics are also damaging to the environment.
Banning single-use plastics will lower the total taxes that the government collects, and the amount of revenue plastic industry makes. Solely in United States, the single-use plastic industry brought in 104 billion dollars in revenue in 2019. At least 30% of the 104 billion dollars will go to the government as taxes. If the government choose to ban single-use plastics, the government will lose about 30 billion dollars in taxes. In addition, the industry is expected to grow to be worth 1.2 trillion dollars by 2020. The fast-growing plastics industry will not only continue to bring in taxes and revenue, it could also possible help decrease the unemployment rate.
A recent United Nations proposal to ban single-use plastics might result in a significant increase in the number of jobless citizens living in America. As of 2019, more than 85,000 Americans are employed to only making plastic bags. If the government decides to adhere to United Nation’s proposal, this could be risking more than 85,000 people’s jobs. Additionally, Senator Elizabeth Warren also said that “with increasing household” and “corporate debt”, another financial crisis is on its way. If government choose to ban single-use plastics, it could mean further denting the employment rate while a financial crisis is about to occur.
Not only will banning single-use plastics increase unemployment rate, alternatives to single-use plastics are also damaging to the environment. Denmark Ministry of Environment and Food found that an organic cotton bag has to be reused 20,000 times to have the equal or less effects to the environment as the single-use plastic manufactured bag. Cotton is also a producer of C02 emission and is slowly whittling away the water on Earth. Skeptics might argue that plastic pollutes the ocean. Many people believe the plastic straws are a main pollutant of the ocean. However, Dr. Trevor Thorton, Professor of Environmental Science at Deakin University, says that plastic straws only accounts for a mere 0.03% of the total waste in the ocean while fishing nets account for half of the waste floating in the oceans. Banning single-use plastics might harm the environment in more negative ways.
Banning single-use plastics will cut down on the taxes the governments receive, reduce employment rate, and, unlike the words of many environmentalists, damage our environment. Banning single-use plastics will not go goof to the economy or the environment- governments need to solve the waste problem in the oceans, rather than looking to banning materials to save our environment.