Project Timeline: 3 months from start to have project fully implanted
While researching I came across the possibility of incorporating reusable bags on campus and charging for disposable bags. A lot of cities around the U.S. charge patrons for disposable bags, for example Los Angles, Seattle, WA, and our hometown, Chicago, IL. I used to live in Seattle and would get frustrated when I couldn’t get a bag because I didn’t feel like paying 10 cents for one. I eventually bought some reusable bags which ended up being a lifesaver (and environmental saver). I started to realize how easily I threw away the plastic or paper bags I didn’t want to use again without realizing the impacts.
Many oils and natural gases go into the production of plastic bags, which aren’t able to be recycled. The U.S. uses 12 million oils a year to produce plastic bags. It also takes approx. 1,000 years for a single plastic bag to degrade, and during the degradation period harmful toxins get released into the environment/atmosphere. You may see many plastic bags on the ground outside. Only 2% of plastic bags get recycled a year. It costs around $5,000 to recycle one ton plastic bags but only cost $30 to sell the same amount. Paper bags are even worse than plastic bags because they are made from trees and resources are used in order to recycle them. Petroleum is used in the production of which is of such demand, adding to oil politics. A reusable bag can be used for years; the amount of uses you can get out of a reusable bag equals 700 plastic bags.
Reusable bags are more beneficial! Their can either be a complete ban of being able to get a plastic or paper bag from any business at UIC or charge a fee of $0.15- $0.25 per paper/plastic bag. Any profit/proceeds from the latter could contribute to the Urban Sustainability Fee and other Sustainability related organizations.
Preliminary Project Budget: 5,000 (for reusable bags without sponsors)