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The Battle to Ban Plastic Bags is on the Rise

Will New York’s Recent Legislation Create Environmental Sustainability?

By Anne Long on May 6, 2019
According to a recent New York Times article, New York lawmakers have officially created a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags as legislators are becoming increasingly concerned with the devastating toll plastic bags are taking on “our streets, our water, and our natural resources.” This follows recent legislation, passed by the European parliament and other U.S. states, banning single-use plastics including straws, bags, bottles, and more. However, businesses and trade groups, who are concerned that the ban will dramatically affect local retailers and grocery stores, are arguing that legislation should be more focused on anti-littering laws to decrease the amount of waste and the amount of packaging large conglomerates use to ship their goods.

According to Prof. Luke A. Amadi and Prof. Prince Ikechukwu Igwe, from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in their authored chapter, “Globalization and Rethinking of Environmental Consumption From a Sustainability Perspective,” from the publication, Promoting Global Environmental Sustainability and Cooperation, “Increasing scholarly curiosity had emerged in recent decades on possible nexus between globalization and environmental sustainability, as several development decades point to perverse environmental disaster.”

Researchers and experts, as well as global citizens, have cause for concern as many major businesses employ marketing, packaging, and distribution practices that directly contribute to damaging the environment.

“There is a lot of consumption of non-renewable vitality assets which joined by era of non-bio degradable toxins has prompt to an expansion in customer and corporate attention to green promoting issues,” said Prof. Dhruv Sabharwal, from Amity University, India, in his authored chapter, “Study of Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Marketing of Environmentally Friendly Products,” in the IGI Global publication,Environmental Awareness and the Role of Social Media.

The increasing preference for eco-friendly goods and products have disrupted corporate and industrial enterprises around the globe, as businesses and corporations now must develop new products that meet consumer expectations. As a result, various business practices have also changed to reflect a “greener” stance, including advertising, showcasing, and shopping. For example, H&M’s 2019 H&M Conscious Collection focuses on using sustainably sourced materials and methods to produce their clothing items and promote a future of sustainable fashion.

According to Prof. Sabharwal, “The development of green advertising and green shopper[s] is maybe the greatest open door for big business and creation the modern world has ever observed,” which spins the mandate for new greener products and packaging as a unique business opportunity to tap into in response to the new consumer demand.

Prof. Sabharwal goes on to refer to corporations and organizations who are already adopting this attitude and approach, saying: “Various organizations appropriate [the term ‘green’]…for example, [Walmart] attempting to push the idea of natural sustenance [and] open elements, like the London governments clog charge, are altogether for enhancing the earth by advancing ‘Green’ items and issues.”

Therefore, it may just take a change in corporate strategy to comply with the demands of environmental movements like the ban on plastic bags and reduce the fear of additional business losses. This attitude is embraced more readily when public awareness surrounding the impacts the industry has had on the earth and our natural resources is present with consumer demand. The protests involved in the war on plastic bags prove that environmental awareness and consumer input make more changes than they normally would, than be implemented by regulations alone.

Contributors Prof. Veethika Tilwankar, Prof. Swapnil Rai, and Prof. S. P. Bajpai, from Amity University, India, authors of the chapter, “Role of Social Media in Environment Awareness: Social Media and Environment,” in the publication, Environmental Awareness and the Role of Social Media, say that the problem of environmental sustainability “can be solved if environmental awareness amongst people could be raised. The advantage of environment awareness is its contribution to public support for government action in environment policy and management.”

As movements such as the war on plastic bags continue to catch the public interest, as well as the media, the greater the chance of positive global environmental changes. For over 30 years IGI Global has committed to facilitating the discovery of pioneering research that enhances and expands the body of knowledge available to the research community, and we look forward to continuing to publish emerging information and scholarly research related to environmental health and sustainability. To assist in this mission, find below the latest research on sustainability, natural resources, environmental policies, sustainable infrastructure, and related topics:


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