The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags : The Indicator from Planet Money Plastic bags are no boon to the environment — but banning them might be worse.

The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags

The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags

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For decades, plastic bags have been staples at grocery stores. They also clog drains, cause floods, litter landscapes and kill wildlife. Consequently, a growing number of cities and counties have passed laws that ban or tax plastic bags in the past ten years.

But as our colleagueGreg Rosalsky explored in a recent Planet Money newsletter, banning plastic bags may be worse for the environment. Sales of trash bags — which use more plastic than typical grocery store bags — jump after plastic bag bans or taxes are implemented. And other alternatives — like paper bags and canvas totes — are even worse for the environment.

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