Ban plastic bags ? Or worry about unintended consumer costs ?

An article in the Wall Street Journal (October 8, 2012) describes two sides of a decision to ban plastic bags. On the one hand, plastic bags clog up recycling equipment, create clean up costs and add up to $ 30 a year to consumer costs in grocery stores, in addition to potentially being a bad design for the job of carrying products. But eliminating bags will require consumers to carry their own reusable bags and incur costs estimated to be $ 10 million in return for $ 300,000 in savings to water and carbon consumption. Should plastic bags be considered bad designs and banned even if their elimination increases costs to consumers ? Is the potential disintegration of bags and impact on marine life, estimated to be 3 % of marine litter, a significant enough concern to act now ? Or should the costs of alternate packaging have to drop significantly enough before action is taken ? Should consumers be charged the full cleanup costs of a bag to hinder use ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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