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Global energy dilemmas: a geographical perspective
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What killed King Coal?
Artisanal Mining Communities in South Africa
Sustainable energy access in Mozambique and South Africa
Teff: The next superfood?

Drastic plastic bag bans

May 2008

Who are banning plastic bags - and why?

Drastic plastic bag bans

In just the very last few years, governments and societies have suddenly begun to take the threat of climate change seriously – while also realising that more needs to be done to reduce landfill and levels of waste.

Reducing energy use and resource consumption is essential if the ecological footprint (including carbon footprint) of nations is to be reduced.

Recently, steps taken to ban the use of giveaway plastic bags – at a variety of scales from small British villages to the whole of China – have been reported by the newspapers. Who is banning plastic bags – and why?


This resource will have particular appeal for KS3, GCSE and A-level candidates who are studying sustainability, population and resources or economic development. Each item deals with some of the issues and impacts surrounding mass consumption and the disposal of plastic bags. Additionally, the article asks whether banning plastic bags is really a significant and viable method for tackling climate change.

This article supports teaching of (2008) GCE Qualifications, especially:

  • WJEC Unit 4 (sustainability)
  • Edexcel Unit 1 (the viability of green strategies)

This resource can be adapted by teachers for KS3 (2008) delivery of:

  • interdependence
  • changing human processes

In the Members' Area:

  • British bag bans: can they help tackle climate change?
  • Overseas bag bans: will they really fight floods and disease?
  • Decision –making: can plastic bag bans save the planet?
  • Practice AS/A2 essay question

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