Economic and health arguments used to try and stem growing community efforts to reduce plastic pollution
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With growing awareness that plastic trash is having serious impacts on aquatic environments, especially in the oceans, communities around the world are moving to reduce the reliance on single-use plastic bags and other sources of plastic.
At the same time, the industry is pushing back, setting up a classic environmental battle. Instead of figuring out a way to be part of the solution instead of the problem, plastic bag manufacturers are making an economic argument, trying to show with questionable studies that plastic bag bans impact sales and employment.
It’s a pretty typical tactic, commonly used by the energy industry, but it has the potential to be effective. In one recent example, a conservative think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis, issued a press release purporting to show that employment at stores affected by a bag ban fell by 10 percent in the past year, and that sales dropped by 6 percent compared to nearby areas without a ban, where sales supposedly grew by 9 percent during the same time. Here’s a link to the study. (more…)