Essay on Ban on the Use of Plastic Bags Policy in Relation to Public Health

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Boston College
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The use of plastic bag is an issue that causes more harm than the good but very few people tend to address the issue. Not only do these plastic bags affect the environment but both, directly and indirectly, affect the public health as well. It may seem to be a hard policy to follow up since most of the people in States use the plastic bags and ban of the plastic will end up affecting many but the passion in the matter gives me the reason to choose the issue (Clapp & Swanston, 2009). The issue particularly interests me since most of the people use the plastic bags and the majority of the users do not know the health effects associated with the use of these plastic bags. In the process of following up with the issues, it will be my pleasure to educate the public on the health implications associated with the use of the plastic bags. In line with nursing, it is great to give back to the community and the educating of the community on the health dangers associated with the use of plastic bags is a way of giving back to the community.

There are countless problems related to the use of plastic bags by the people and as seen most of the users have no idea of these problems. Many of the chemicals used in the production and manufacturing of the plastic bags have a negative effect on the human health. Some of the chemicals such as the polyvinyl chloride (#3pvc) which is used for the packaging of food, plastic wrappers, cosmetic rappers and other uses of the plastic happen to be a day to day use for the public but the effect on the public health is hazardous (Clapp & Swanston, 2009). The polyvinyl chloride causes cancer a problem which is affecting the community at a very high rate; it can also lead to congenital disability for the yet unborn babies. Also, the chemical can lead to skin diseases, indigestion, liver dysfunction, chronic bronchitis and also genetic changes (Romer, 2007). These are some of the health issues that are associated with one of the many plastic products another example is the Phthalate (DEHP and DINP) these are used mainly in product packaging food wrapping among other daily use by the public. The plastic Phthalates have countless health problems to the users starting with endocrine disruption it is also linked to asthma (Romer, 2007). The plastic is also a cause of sperm count decline. These are few of the health issues associated with the use of plastic bags and the list of these effects happens to be endless.

New laws are to be put in place for the policy to be effective since the use of plastic bags is legal but for the policy to be implemented, it means the illegalization of the use of plastic bags. Different campaigns are to be held so as to create awareness of the harm associated with the use of plastic bags so as to easily manage to convince the public to drop the use of plastic bags for their own health reasons (Romer, 2007). The decision to follow through with this policy is due to the good it has on the public in case it is followed through. Not only to this generation but to the coming generations as well. The main goals are to prevent most of the discussed health complications related to the plastic bag issue. Packaging bags and other issues or incidences which require the use of a plastic bag will have to be handled in other different bags as long as they do not fall under the different plastic bags categories. The use of the plastic bags in the US is dangerous where almost every resident uses a plastic bag and different research shows that at the rate the effects of the use of these plastic bags will be uncontrollable (Clapp & Swanston, 2009). Reports from the different state's government show the problems level of plastic bag usage and growing at an alarming rate.

The first step in the implementation process of this policy is the state government. Starting, my city Huston being the most famous state in the State of Texas will give a push in the awareness of the policy to many other cities and States. Addressing the state government in relation to the issue will be my starting point. For the policy, I intend to ask an audience with the acting director of Huston Health department Stephen L. Williams. He happens to be actively involved in public health issues at a local, state and national level hence addressing the policy with him will be much easier.


Clapp, J., & Swanston, L. (2009). Doing away with plastic shopping bags: international patterns of norm emergence and policy implementation. Environmental politics, 18(3), 315-332.

Romer, J. R. (2007). The Evolution of San Francisco's Plastic-Bag Ban. Golden Gate U. Envtl. LJ, 1, 439.


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