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Homework answers / question archive / Discussion Forum 4 - Plastic Pollution 4444 unread replies

Discussion Forum 4 - Plastic Pollution 4444 unread replies


Discussion Forum 4 - Plastic Pollution

4444 unread replies.6565 replies.

Plastics are invaluable substances that have improved the quality of our lives in many different ways.  One of their more valuable features is their durability, which also makes them one of the most damaging substances that we find in the oceans.

Unfortunately, minute plastics pieces are now found floating in all ocean basins of the planet. This has numerous ecological effects on surrounding marine organisms and is relatively unknown to the general public. For a description of the problem of plastics in the Pacific, see:

While this is a large-scale, international issue that will take the agreements and action between many different countries, there are things that California is starting to consider to locally address the problem we are having with marine debris (especially plastics).

For example, for many years, the California legislature debated the best ways to reduce plastic litter in the ocean.  Among the most controversial component was the complete ban of single use plastic grocery bags and Polystyrene containers, which became a proposition in the November 2016 election (Prop 67) and passed with 52% of voters' approval. (Links to an external site.)


Even before Prop 67 passed, many cities including San Francisco, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Los Angeles had already taken steps to ban free, single-use plastic bags.  

Although there are many exemptions planned as well as relatively low maximum charges, some people are vocally against the strategy of banning or charging for plastic bags and containers. Others, however, are in favor of it because of numerous successful programs that have been implemented all over the world (please see links below). These programs have reduced plastic waste from grocery bags by up to 90% while generating revenue to help with cleaning up environmental problems which are rarely adequately funded. 

Going one step further, France, has recently banned ALL disposable plastic cups, plates and utensils, becoming the first country to ban these single-use, non-biodegradable items. Read the details here (Links to an external site.)


DIRECTIONS: After reading through the above websites and doing your own research, post your thoughts on the issue of banning single-use plastics including: plastics bags, polystyrene containers, and disposable plastic cups, plates, utensils, and straws (at least 200 words). Then, after reading additional posts from your classmates, choose two that interest you and respectfully explain why you support or disagree with their position (at least 100 words for each response).


ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES: As with all must cite some of what you learned in your research to show that you have an adequate understanding of the issue. In your posts, you should consider the following questions:

1)    How will the single-use plastic bag ban affect all interested parties (environmentalists, marine life, Americans in need of jobs, consumers, grocery stores, future generations, etc.)?

2)    Should California follow in France's footsteps and ban all disposable cups, plates, containers and utensils?

3)    Is the ban on plastic, in fact, the best way to deal with the marine plastic debris problem? What are some of the drawbacks?

4)    If not, what variations do you feel would be most effective and why?

5)    Are proposals like this politically and economically viable?

6)    Are there perfect alternatives to plastic shopping bags, containers, and utensils? 

If you are in favor of banning disposable plastic bags, containers, utensils, etc you must address the arguments usually made by those against the ban (see links above) and vice-versa.  

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