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Are there any economic benefits from using reusable bags?
I am writing a paper on reusable bags and I was wondering if there were any beneficial aspects relating to the government or economy?
Thanks in advance.
Reusable bags could help gov build a eco-frienly economy. We need much less packaging by using reusable bags, and we would focus more on the product itself.
Are you thinking about bags that are not made with plastic? We are trying to cut down on that in landfills and paper is scarce so now we have bags that can be used again and again - BUT be sure they can be washed as you will start a little germ farm if they are not properly cleaned.
the simple answer is, the less bags we use from the store, the less they gotta buy which keeps their costs down and in theory keeps their prices lower.
Yes, there is a reduction in disposal of plastic bags, which in turn produces cost savings, that can HOPEFULLY be passed on down to the consumer. Leaves them with more money in their pockets to spend hence improving the economy.
To answer your question properly, I'm going to have to go where a "green" person should never go. Since it is a paper your writing, and the info your looking for is whether there is a benefit from a strictly immediate economic standpoint, that leaves out the long term part of the situation.
Given that the reusable bags need to be washable and durable, they cost more to produce and even though they are durable at some point they will need to be gotten rid of and replaced. Some of them are simply fabric bags so easily recycled and more environmentally friendly than plastic bags, but most of the food grade bags are a combination of plastic and fabric making them harder to recycle.
So the initial consumer cost will be higher for reusable and since they last longer, they will generate less long term employment in their production than disposable bags.
Now from a use benefit economically. A good majority of stores charge for disposable bags now as well and even if they don't, no discount is made on your purchases for using reusable bags. In today's weak economy, stores are not about to start discounting for their use and it's not likely to happen in the near future unless legislated. So at this point no immediate economic benefit either.
Long term is where you will have to look for the benefits of reusable bags. A huge chunk of disposable bags still end up in landfills instead of recycling either through their use as garbage can liners or just through laziness of not recycling. As landfills get full, new land is needed for that use that must be purchased, developed and maintained usually at a huge cost. So the less waste including disposable bags could be seen as an economic benefit considering that the cost of these landfills comes out of taxes.
So immediate economic benefit? No, but since plastic is largely not biodegradable, returning to an already used landfill to add more is partly out of the question and even more so in large cities we will eventually run out of land for landfills and will have to pay to ship our garbage elsewhere, long term economic benefit for sure.
That's without even considering the environmental impacts of disposable bags vs reusable.
Reusable bags are higher in cost than the plastic bags, that's why plastic bags are used more. But people forget that the reusable bags are reused. Using reusable bags it will reduce the spending of plastic bags because I guess that is leakage out of the business.
You have gotten some good answers here as far as uncovering issues you'll need to investigate. I doubt if forum comments will count as a good source for your paper. You don't say if your working on a high school paper or a college paper, but your next step is the same in either case: go to your school's library and ask the librarian to help you find good sources.