Learn The Truth About the Single-Use Bag Industry in 90 seconds using Rhetorical Analysis Checking out at the store is usually a shopper’s favorite part of the experience, so why should selecting a plastic shopping bag be a horrible choice? According to the Department of Sanitation in New York City, citizens of this borough use approximately 10 billion single-use carryout plastic bags per year. Disposal of these bags costs the city more than $12 million annually, impacts the environment by littering the landscape, and end up as waste in landfills. The problem is how to convince consumers to alter their ingrained love of single-use carryout bags? Huffington Post Contributor, Jennie Romer addresses this issue in her article, “Why Carryout Bag Fees Are More Effective Than Plastic Bag Bans.” She utilizes language to present her point of view as she analyzes the impact of imposing carryout bag fees on consumer behavior. Romer’s purpose is to emphasize her message that, a fee component will compel consumers to make better choices and reduce the use of plastic carryout bags. She adopts a persuasive tone to influence adult readers behavior and to throw their support behind her belief. The purpose of Romer’s work reflects the legal challenges she faced as an attorney, sustainability consultant, and nationally recognized expert on carryout bag policy. As a young apprentice in California, she witnessed the intensive lobbying campaign of the plastic bag manufacturers as they fought anti-bag ordinances. Various cities relied on Romer’s council as they sought to turn back the tide of mounting trash from single-use plastic bags. Consequently, her background offers insight into the role of laws in changing consumer behavior. While some people think that city government should ban single-use plastic bags, Romer and others favor adopting a carryout fee. New York City Council agreed with Romer’s view and passed Local Law 63 in 2016, however,the implementation date was not until February 2017. This law imposes a five cent fee on all carryout merchandise bags in New York City. The problem was that New York State legislature wanted more time to analyze the plastic bag problem. The state legislature’s solution was a preemption bill to suspend the carryout bag fee associated with Local Law 63 for one year. Upset by this turn of events, in January 2017, Romer turned to the resources of written language. Using rhetorical techniques, like argumentation and cause/effect, she shared with the reader her viewpoint and made a call to action to help stop the state legislature block of carryout bag fees. Romer begins with one of her most useful rhetorical methods, the appeal to emotion or pathos in this persuasive article advocating a carryout bag fee. She provides compelling evidence of the problem to the reader by intertwining emotionally charged pictures of stray plastic bags, mentioning “ultimate sweeping policy,” and “change to consumer behavior.” The close up images of unswept, plastic bags tossed carelessly in the street, brings the reader closer to the subject. The topic comes alive in the mind of the reader and helps the reader relate to the importance of the subject. Romer establishes an emotional connection to gain the reader’s attention and set the stage for a discussion of the monetary aspect at the core of this debate. While the politicians that Romer is fighting may use abstract facts while defending their positions, this writer chooses to carefully provide concrete facts that support her intentions in the body paragraphs. Specifically, Romer uses Chicago and Hawaii to highlight the cause and effect of a “straight ban.” In this type of ban, plastic bags with a thickness of 2.25 mils or less, called single-use, are not permitted. When bans exist, consumers turn to free paper or reusable bags. There is no reduction in consumer use because they are not emotionally attached to the plastic bag issue. Instead, the ban saddles grocers, like Walmart, with higher costs for paper bags and takes market share from the plastics industry. By presenting the struggles of bag prohibitions using rhetorical strategies in the first three paragraphs, Romer influences the beliefs of the reader and provides an understanding of how this text fits into the conversation in the middle sections of this article. Additionally, realizing that saving the environment should not be strictly tied to the emotions of the consumer, Romer shift’s her attention to using diction to as a rhetorical strategy to establish ethos or trust in the middle section of the article. In doing so, she challenges the reader’s attitude that the plastics and grocer industries are blameless in this conversation. Carefully choosing words frames her subject to reflect her view of that fees are better than bans and establishes her expertise in the plastic bag industry. She adapts her words to the audience as she attacks the credibility of the opposition. Word choices like “underlying,” “threatening,” “opposing” are consistent with her message. These dark sounding words evoke emotions such as fear and anger. If the reader is afraid, it is easier for Romer to highlight her premise that plastic bag manufacturers are unscrupulous in their quest to protect “an unregulated marketplace for their product.” Frivolous lawsuits are “incredibly effective in slowing down the speed at which bag laws” go into effect. The slower implementation allows the industry time to earn more money and figure out ways to overcome the loss of revenue due to the ban. Romer technique demonstrates how the cities who enact single-use bans, “have spent years in court battling” lawsuits that are “in exhausting detail.”The plastic manufacturers make absurd claims like using paper bags results in damage to the environment due to “trucks idling.” Through professionalism in her writing and thoughtful examination of the plastic bag industry by diction, Romer encourages the reader to trust her perception of the lawsuits that are a concern in this conversation. Romer is reestablishing her purpose for writing this article in the final section by persuading her reader to take action. Having connected emotionally with the reader earlier, they are now logically motivated to address the issue. Having presented supporting facts in the previous paragraphs, the reader can choose whether or not to believe Romer’ conclusion. Her call to take action is for the reader located in New York City. While concerned citizens outside of the state might find this article eye-opening and informative, the links in the last paragraph target the intended New York City reader. One click connections to “NYC’s #BYOBag law,” “NYC Council Member Brad Lander’s website” and “updates on grassroots activism” are included as a resource for those environmentally conscious readers who want to make a positive change or may need more information. Doing so welcomes the audience to look at the topic from Romer’s point of view and supplies additional facts to reassure the reader that fees are better than single-use bag bans. The emotional effects of rhetorical methods often depend on the writers delivery. There are many tools available when writing an article. Romer uses ethos, pathos, and logos as building blocks that systematically provide strength to her message. By choosing pathos in the introduction, she established emotions in her audience. Appealing to their hearts, they are willing to acknowledge that plastic bags are an enormous burden on the environment. While replacing single-use bags with paper is an option, it does not alleviate the landfill problem. Consumers are not motivated to change their reckless behaviors until there is a clear motivation. Romer uses strong rhetorical devices like cause and effect and persuasive argument to make her point that fees on bags used at the grocery store are the only way to change consumer behavior. After careful consideration of her persuasive article, it is easy to see why a New Yorker are motivated to act by the end of her article.