Approximately 6.9 billion plastic bags are used every year by Australians. The problem of plastic bag consumption can be broken down to one outstanding issue. This is the impact of consumption and disposal of plastic bags towards the environment. This involves the resources used to make plastic bags and also how they are disposed in the form of litter or in landfills. This leads to the amount of plastic bags being consumed to be approximately 36 850 tonnes of plastic, or 2% of total plastics produced in Australia each year. Although a small amount of the total consumed in Australia each year, which is estimated to be around 3 million tonnes (1) . It is part of a current and increasing problem that needs to be addressed to create further awareness around the issue.
It is also evident from Table 1 that approximately only 50% of waste is recycled while the other half is still disposed in the form of litter or placed in landfill.
Certain measures have been taken to address the issue before such as;
• Introducing levies or bans in some states
• Increasing awareness in both consumer and producer
• Changes to the code of practice
• Input from different environmental groups in regards to recovery and recycling
To demonstrate if in fact, a plastic bag tax would decrease consumption to a soc...
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...c reduction in plastic bag usage, as it comes across as smarter to choose the re-usable alternative than the plastic bag financially and ethicaly.
In conclusion it is evident that, with the issue of the impact of plastic bags on the environment, on the rise, the plastic bag tax is becoming an increasingly viable option to decrease consumption. As seen in the evidence presented in the report, introducing a tax can cause the over consumption of plastic bags to decrease by comparing the negative of externality of consumption before and after tax. Whilst having potential limitations, previous attempts have shown that it can either succeed or fail depending on the resources used in implementing such a tax. If the tax is to go ahead it would show that putting by measures in place during the early stages of implementation the plastic bag tax could be a possible solution.
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