Kissing is just cuddling with your lips. -Krishna
Question #92391 posted on 07/02/2019 5:12 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are plastic bags not banned Nationwide? I've lived in Hawaii before where plastic shopping bags are banned. If you want a bag, you pay 15¢, or bring your own reusable bags (which I honestly LOVE them). I think it's a really easy change to make and won't significantly affect any major companies, even if it does...I think it's a change worth making. Is there an actual reason why they aren't banned? Or is it laziness and lack of caring?

Also on a related topic, buy Jason Momoa's new water brand, Mananalu, when it comes out (like august-september I think?). It's in aluminum cans so it's easier to recycle. I know it costs more but it's so worth it!

-just wanting to help the turteeellls


Dear Same,

Because the mainland US is much bigger and has more people who don't want to ban plastic bags for whatever reason (they use them as trash bags, they think plastic bags are more convenient than bringing their own shopping bags, they don't believe in global warming or that plastic bags harm the environment, they're generally opposed to change, they don't want to make policy decisions just to be "politically correct," they think banning plastic bags won't actually make a big environmental impact, etc etc). Hawaii has a much smaller population than the entire United States, so it's a lot easier for their community to reach a consensus. The more people you have, the more disagreement.

Also, because Hawaii is surrounded by ocean they see the real-life impact of plastic bags in the ocean all the time. It's their reality, whereas in most of the US it's an abstract thought problem that often gets put on the back burner.



Dear Turtle Friend,

If you read this article, author Bjorn Lomborg argues persuasively that banning plastic bags won't have a significant environmental impact.

I suggest you read the whole article, but the points most interesting to me are that organic cotton bags have to be reused more than 20,000 times to have a lesser overall environment impact than a plastic bag. Or a paper bag would have to be used 43 times, when you consider factors like deforestation or emissions that go into the production of these alternative options.

When you consider that California's ban on single-use plastic bags saves 40 million pounds of plastic annually but increased consumption of paper bags by 83 million pounds and trash bags by 12 million pounds, it doesn't necessarily seem worthwhile since plastic bags make up less than .8% of the trash in the oceans. If protecting animals or saving the environment are our major goals, we need to think bigger.




Dear Turtoise,

As far as the water thing goes, I'd personally recommend just getting a water bottle. That will generate even less waste.