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1RHET 110RozendalNovember 18, 2013Our Plastic Bags, Our PlanetAbout one million plastic bags are used every minute (Reuseit). Every single year over one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide (Reuseit). While going to the grocery store or on a shopping spree, Americans are handed plastic shopping bags every day, without thinking about where these bags have come from or where they will be going after they are no longer needed. To most Americans, seeing a plastic bag is a common sight and nothing out of the ordinary, but now, some shoppers have been seeing reusable shopping bags at the market. These sightings of reusable bags are becoming more common each and every day, but what is the reason for this change? While the convenience and cost of plastic bags have made them everyday items, their lifecycle before and after our purchases makes them a convenience that we cannot really afford.In March 2007, San Francisco became the first major United States city to put a plastic bag ban into action (Business Ethics). Large supermarket and pharmacy shoppers in the city had to lose the non-compostable plastic shopping bags and bring their own reusable bags to the store, or pay ten cents (Sankin). Since the implementation of this ban, San Francisco has seen a fifty percent drop in plastic bag litter on the streets (Business Ethics). This progress has even pushed the innovative city to extend the ban to all retail stores and all restaurants in the city, which began on October first of 2013
2(Sankin). Sankin also explains that, “The money generated from these fees won't flow into city coffers; instead, it will be kept by the individual stores.” This ban has motivatedthe citizens of San Francisco to bring their own reusable bags to the store so they do not have to pay the ten-cent charge, reducing the total amount of plastic bags being consumedin the city. According to an article, “In 2002 around 50 to 80 million bags ended up as litter in our environment,” (Plastic Waste Solutions). San Francisco’s plastic bag ban has urged Americans to reduce the amount of bags they are consuming, which ultimately reduced the amount that was littered by fifty percent. This plastic bag ban movement has now been spread to other parts of the country, like in Washington, D.C., and even across the world, like in Australia. Why should other cities in America hop on the plastic bag bandwagon too? In cities, like Washington, D.C., they have joined San Francisco in the idea of banning all plastic bags, or else shoppers will have to pay a ten-cent charge. These bags are being banned for a few reasons, one of them being that plastic bags are making their way into our fresh water sources. These plastic bags, that have been littered, are starting to threaten the freshness of our water sources, and ultimately our drinking water. In a news article, the unknown author states, “The Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh water in the world, may not be so fresh anymore. That’s according to researchers with the