The state of Michigan has decided to ban the ban that allowed authorities to tax plastic containers and bags in an effort to maintain a cleaner environment.
Plastic masses have become quite a threat to the environment. The problem spans from the smallest puddle to our planet’s oceans. The Pacific Ocean is even the unfortunate host of the Great Pacific garbage patch.
In an effort to stop the reckless disposal of plastic masses, the states imposed a ban. This targeted the use of plastic containers of any type. More exactly, it included plastic bags and any other auxiliary containers.
Auxiliary containers include both single-use as well as reusable packaging. It includes anything from cups, bottles, to bags, or other packages. Such containers would have to follow a specific set of rules.
The plastic container ban gave local governments the possibility to carry out some actions. These included regulating, imposing fees, or banning the use of such containers.
Just recently, the state of Michigan has announced that it decided to ban this ban. More exactly, local authorities will lose their acting power on the matter of plastic container disposal.
Bill No. 853 has been signed into effect sometime last week. This bill will preempt the local ordinances that regulate the use, sale, disposition, or sale of specific containers. Their restrictions, prohibition, fees, charges and taxes will also be annulled.
The decision has caused quite some concern. Most see it as a potentially damaging action. Michigan, as a state, borders most of the Great Lakes. More exactly, four of the five. It also has one of the longest shorelines, with 3288 miles.
Last year, researchers carried out a study. They noted that even with such bans, almost 22 million pounds of plastic masses still ended up in the Great Lakes water. Rochester Institute of Technology scientists were in charge of the report.
They determined that such plastic containers have a different behavior than those seen in oceans. Lake plastic gets carried away by currents and winds. As such, it is driven to shore and could even end up in another state.
Research also determined that Lake Michigan is the most heavily affected of all the Great Lakes. More than half of the plastic containers and other such objects enter the said waters.
Plastic containers and bags are banned or taxed in many parts of the world. The reason behind this is simple. They are made up of non-biodegradable materials. Such materials do proceed to break down into smaller, even tiny pieces.
But the process can take hundreds or even thousands of years. Perhaps even worse, tiny parts can also be swallowed up by animals or fish. Such pieces can either directly kill or poison them. Furthermore, such ingested plastic masses can also be carried back to humans.
Michigan is not the only state to have banned the plastic containers ban. Missouri, Arizona, and Idaho also signed similar laws.
The Michigan decision, which was signed late last year, was met with critique as well as praise. It was applauded by the Michigan Restaurant Association.
At the same time, others consider that the state overstepped its authority. The ban effectively takes away power on the matter from the local governments.
Others have even pointed out another issue. They claim that the state does depend on tourism. And the plastic masses that might accumulate on the shorelines will not help much.
Others cautioned and warned against the potentially damaging effects the plastic containers might have on the environment.
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