It comes as no surprise that the plastic bag manufacturing industry is finding fault with the government’s move to ban the use of plastic bags. Given that the industry has a clear vested interest, it is not unexpected that they would suggest an alternative to the ban, but the current levels of plastic pollution in the country necessitate the government’s decision. This is why the government needs to stick to its stance and not cave in to the arguments posed by plastic manufacturers, as it would roll back an important step in preventing pollution and environmental damage from the incessant use of plastic.

The plastic bag manufacturers have voiced one genuine concern regarding the future of the many workers employed in the industry – a ban would likely render some unemployed. However, this will only be the case if firm owners do not adapt to the changing reality, which they must do if they want to keep their businesses and profits protected. This ban is not going to shut down industry – bans of this sort never do. They just force owners to invest a little extra and adapt machinery and in this case, raw material for plastic bags can be repurposed for other commodities as well. For the manufacturers to claim that the ban will result in a complete shutdown is absolute nonsense.

It is also absolutely ridiculous on part of the manufacturers to suggest that waste management companies are at fault for not being able to deal with the plastic bag problem effectively. The plastic bag problem only exists because of their widespread production and use; disposing off of plastic in an environmentally sustainable way is almost impossible for two reasons. Firstly, the sheer number produced cannot be handled no matter how ingenious waste disposal gets in its approach to dealing with the problem. Secondly, there is no real way to dispose plastic and these bags are not good enough quality plastic to be repurposed and recycled.

No matter what business owners say, changing the size dimensions as a means to decrease plastic waste is not even close enough to being an adequate measure. Firms should see past short-term profits and if they cannot, the government need not pay heed to the noises coming in from the industrial sector. The ban is a positive move and no amount of pressure from the business community should deter the state from protecting citizens and the earth from the catastrophe that awaits us if we do not change our course now.