The Problems with Plastic Bag Bans: A Policy Brief

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Several Alaskan cities have already instituted single-use plastic bag bans, and more are considering legislation to regulate the use of plastic bags.[1]Figure 1, Citywide Bag Bans in Alaska, shows which Alaskan cities have already instituted plastic bag bans. However, this isn’t an issue specific to Alaska: California and Hawaii have already banned single-use plastic bags statewide, with six other states following suit in 2019 alone, indicated in Figure 2, Statewide Bag Bans in the U.S.[2]If bag bans and taxes work as intended, shopping decisions and behaviors will be directly affected. In order to form an opinion about proposed legislation, it is necessary to know the facts.

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