Plastic Bags Are a Problem. Bans, Totes, and Paper Aren’t Great Answers.

Plastic bags have had a bad reputation in the environmental world, but are plastic bans, paper bags or tote bags the solution?

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Source: MTSOfan


What's your favorite type of bag?

Plastic bags have been a surprisingly hot topic in the environmental world, with eight states having gone so far as to enact single-use plastic bag bans. Plastic bags do present issues across their supply chain from climate, health, and justice concerns in the manufacturing process to pollution and biodiversity concerns after their disposal. But are bans or paper bags or tote bags actually viable solutions? Today, we explore what issues plastic bags create, why many proposed solutions have major shortcomings, and some lesser known possibilities for how our grocery bag use could become more sustainable. With special guest Dr. Rebecca Taylor: Senior Lecturer of Economics at the University of Sydney.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writers: Sarika Sawant, Ethan Brown

Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley

Editor: Megan Antone, Trevor Snow

Producers: Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

Ad Voiceover: Megan Antone

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.



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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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