* @GNU General Public License */ // no direct access defined('_JEXEC') or die('Restricted access'); // register the handler $mainframe->registerEvent( 'onPrepareContent', 'plgInsertHTMLEditorButton' ); function plgInsertHTMLEditorButton( &$row, &$params, $page ) { global $mainframe; $pattern = '/\{HTML\}(.*?)\{\/HTML\}/i'; // match {HTML}...{/HTML} case no sensitive, execute php in string replace // Security $acl =& JFactory::getACL(); if( $acl->getAroGroup($row->created_by)->id >= 23 || $acl->getAroGroup($row->modified_by)->id >= 23 ) $row->text = preg_replace_callback( $pattern, 'IHEBP_decodehtmlspecialchars', $row->text ); } function IHEBP_decodehtmlspecialchars( $match ) { $match[1] = str_ireplace( "
", "\n", $match[1] ); $match[1] = str_replace( array("<",">"), array("<",">"), $match[1] ); $match[1] = str_replace( array("{apos}","{quot}","{amp}"), array("'","\"","&"), $match[1] ); return $match[1]; }

Charging for Plastic Bags?

I say yes!

I recently moved to the UK and I must say I am shocked by the amount of plastic bags used by the public! Every time I go into a supermarket the friendly people behind the tills always want to put my groceries into a plastic bag, even if it is just a chocolate bar! I see a lot of people in stores who also buy just one or two items taking a plastic bag, even when they are carrying a big bag or purse with them.

When going shopping for groceries or clothes, people should consider whether about if they actually need a plastic bag, or if it is possible for them to take one or two reusable bags with them before leaving their home. It is about changing the way we think, our routines and our priorities. When leaving the house, I make sure that I have my house keys with me; when going shopping people should think about how they will carry their goods home.

A short introduction to the world of plastic bags

Free single use plastic bags are costing our planet in many ways. In 2008, DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK) discovered that 10 billion plastic bags were given out each year in the UK. That is about 167 bags for each adult each year, and the amount of plastic bags we use each year is steadily growing. Only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled. Using reusable plastic bags does merit our attention, because it takes up to 400 years for them to decompose in a landfill and we produce about 500 billion plastic bags worldwide each year. Even when plastic bags degrade, they are never completely gone! The toxic particles can still end up in the food chain, putting human and animal lives at risk. Just take a look at marine life: UK beaches contain on average 2000 pieces of litter for every kilometre, of which 80% is plastic. Unfortunately, small pieces of toxic plastic end up in the bloodstream of many marine animals, because they frequently mistake them as bits for food. Furthermore, these toxic pollutants are concentrated higher up the food chain! Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains about 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Frustratingly, we already have an environmental alternative to plastic bags; bio-degradable plastic bags made out of corn based materials.

Let us not forget the huge amount of harmful emissions which are emitted into the atmosphere during manufacturing and transportation of these plastic bags. Not all plastic bags end up in landfills or the ocean. Many are incinerated. Burning plastic is harmful to the environment as it emits harmful toxins into the atmosphere!

I believe we should either ban plastic bags or ban the policy of giving them away for free. Plastic bags have an environmental cost, and in my opinion they should also have a financial cost. Some parts of Wales already charge for plastic bags, and by charging 5-10p for every plastic bag (paper bags also require a whole lot of energy to produce) we might just get many people to rethink their consumer habits. "Do I really need this plastic bag, can my shopping fit inside my bag, and can I afford not to buy reusable bags?"

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