SU Students Say Plastic Bags Should Be Taxed

Written by Mariah Arispe
Megaphone Staff Writer

Plastic. It is everywhere; in stores, homes, schools and businesses.

The American public, including SU (no matter how much we may want to disassociate ourselves from it), cannot seem to get away from I – most specifically when we buy groceries from places like H-E-B, Target, Wal-Mart or Kmart.

It is well known that the primary source of bagging products is plastic bags. Though we cannot necessarily disassociate ourselves from it completely, there are people everywhere – including students here at SU – that are now taking a more environmentally-conscious, less-energy-consuming method of bagging their groceries.

How was this discovered? Through a series of poll questions answered by a proportional sample of SU students.

For starters, it was easy to tell that an overwhelming majority, approximately 70 percent of students that completed the survey, disagreed with the use of plastic bags in general.

65.5 percent of students polled then proceeded to agree that it might be beneficial to charge and/or tax citizens for their use of plastic bags – not only in Texas, but in the United States as a whole.

Knowing the above results, it is no surprise that the majority of students polled also thought that it was a good idea that IKEA, that huge blue and yellow building that you can easily find yourself lost in, charges a fee for the use of its plastic bags.

Another student polled even went as far as saying, “….they [IKEA] could get away with charging more.”

And, just for good measure, one other student commented, “I think it really makes you think about how many bags you use and encourages you to use reusable ones, so I really agree with it.”

Some of you may be wondering, what about the environmental impact?

An overwhelming amount of students polled for the question of whether the use of plastic bags is even worth caring about said yes, it definitely is worth caring about.

One student said: “Yes, it has a HUGE impact. Why on earth do we need to waste a bag for one bottle of soda or one candy bar? Every now and then plastic bags come in handy, especially if you cats and you need to clean kitty litter. But I bet that the large majority of plastic bag users wind up simply throwing their bags away. What a waste!!”

Another student went on to say: “Yes. Our country is plastic bag CRAZY. With the exorbitant amount of waste we already produce every year; plastic bags only complicate the problem. Canvas bags are a much more efficient solution, and if we could all just get into the habit of carrying them, it would save companies and consumers a lot of money and it would help cut down on waste. It seems like a no-brainer.”

So, if the majority of students surveyed appear opposed to the use of plastic bags, what methods are they taking to ensure that they “put their money with their mouth is?”

Almost all polled admitted happily to using canvas bags when and where available or using some other sort of non-plastic bags.

They feel that the use of canvas/non-plastic is a safe, environmental or alternative way of “doing their part.”

It may seem small and insignificant to many people, especially in the world we live in, but you may be surprised at how the small things are the things that sometimes matter the most.

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