By: Alisa Zhou
A majority of the world population rely on plastic bags for everyday use and all types of shopping. Plastic bags have long been seen as a convenient carrier of goods, both for stores and consumers. It is not only cheap but also waterproof and more durable than alternatives, like paper bags. However, plastic bags have an extremely adverse effect on the environment. As a result of its durability, plastic bags do not decompose easily and often travel into streams and oceans and ultimately damage natural habitats.
Recently, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed legislation banning all plastic bag usage for businesses with the exception of bags used for raw meat, prescription medicine, and dry cleaning. As a business in New York plans to stop using bags and rely on paper and reusable bags instead, New York legislators hope that the new legislation will be a positive step in protecting wildlife and the environment. However, with a small supply for paper bags and a sudden increase in demand, the cost of paper bags could increase significantly. This can make it costly for customers who forget to bring their own reusable bags. Nevertheless, remembering to bring your reusable bags will make shopping more cost-efficient and help protect the environment.