Men är det verkligen effektiv miljöpolitik att sluta med plastsugrör eller att införa höga skatter på platspåsar? Två färska avsnitt av Skeptoid verkar inte anse det iaf.
Rethinking Plastic Straw Bans
Beyond the very significant fact that we don't yet have a viable alternative, there are two fundamental problems with banning plastic straws. The first problem is the simple one: the belief that plastic straws are a significant part of some apocalyptic problem. They're not. How big of a problem plastic in the environment truly is is generally greatly exaggerated — and again, I refer you back to episode #665 for all the data backing this. As the role in that problem played by Americans and most other Western nations is tiny, there's nothing that changes in Western consumer behavior can do to impact it. Even if there was, straws are simply statistically insignificant as a contributor. Thus, plastic straw bans in Western nations have no appreciable capacity to accomplish anything useful, except making their practitioners feel good about themselves.
The Trashy Secret of Plastic Bag BansBans on plastic straws and plastic bags are emotionally satisfying for some people, but the data is unequivocal that they are not useful components of any meaningful solution. Rather, they divert attention away from the things people should be focusing on, and give a false sense of relief to people who now feel they've accomplished something and their duty is done.
The short version of the answer is that although plastic bags do indeed represent their expected proportion of plastic trash in the oceans, that plastic comes from China and several other East Asian and other developing nations where up to 76% of trash is mismanaged, i.e., ends up as litter. In the United States, only 2% is mismanaged, representing about one half of 1% of what's in the ocean. Our plastic bags represent about 1% of that. Thus, any changes to consumer behavior in the United States have no discernible impact on the amount of plastic in the ocean; the basic reason being that the United States is already among the world's leaders in responsible waste management.
Stämmer Brian Dunnings resonemang? Hur skulle en evidensbaserad miljöpolitik för plastpåsar och plastsugrör se ut?And so the final conclusion on the subject of plastic bag bans is that the best solution — supported by climate science, ecology, economic theory, and proven by experimentation — is to continue to allow lightweight single-use bags to be provided for a fee by retail merchants, and to encourage shoppers to reuse durable reusable plastic bags.