One can find plastic bags everywhere in our environment. People use plastic bags to carry their groceries as they are convenient. They have become a part of our modern lives, but this convenience comes at a very high cost affecting the environment & our human health negatively.
Below, we share ten powerful reasons why we should say no to polythene bags & ban them from our cities.
1) They pollute our land & water
Either water or strong winds can carry polythene long distances due to their lightweight. Winds can spread these plastic bags & thrashes into the whole area and get caught up between fences, trees, or floats.
2) Contribute to climate change
People manufacture most of the plastic using polypropylene, a material manufactured using natural gas and petroleum. Unfortunately, all materials are non-renewable, fossil fuel-based, whose extraction can create greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change.
3) Using a lot of energy
The energy required to produce nine bags equals the needed to drive a car 0.5 miles.
4) Plastic bags do not degrade
The truth is that plastic bags made using petroleum never degrade. Instead of degrading, it gets broken down into small pieces, ending up in the ocean, which the wildlife consumes.
5) They are toxic
Polythene bags are full of harmful and toxic chemicals that include estrogen-like substances. According to a recent study, poly bags have hormone and estrogen-mimicking qualities, which can prove to be extremely dangerous as they can cause hormonal imbalance, negatively affecting our health.
6) They harm the wildlife
marine wildlife such as fish & sea turtles cannot differentiate between poly bags and their food, hence consuming them. Consumption of plastic can congest their digestive system leading to health infection or even suffocation.
7) Harmful to human health
Polythene bags have some pollutants such as PCBs and PAH, disrupting our hormonal system. In addition, people consume all these harmful chemicals during their production leading to the development of cancers & other serious problems.
Also Read: 5 reasons to approve paper bags over plastic
8) Expensive and difficult to clean
Cleaning plastic bags can cost around 17 cents per bag, which means taxpayers end up paying approximately 88$ per year just on plastic bag waste. Thus, people might consider it plastic-free, but it is not accessible in reality!
9) They include external costs
Production of plastic bags includes various other external costs like production and environmental costs.
10) They are getting consumed in a high volume
One of the significant problems of polythene carry bags is that people use them in a large volume.
11) Not easy to recycle
One of the biggest challenges poly bags face is recycling. Recycling facilities simply disapprove of poly bags simply due to their incapability of recycling plastic bags. The actual poly bags recycling rate is around 5%.
12) Consumers won’t recycle plastic bags
The only correct way to dispose of poly bags is to recycle them. But, unfortunately, according to the latest report, only 12% of plastic carry bags are recycled.
13) They are disposable rather than being reusable
The structure of plastic bags makes them more disposable than reusable. There are some of them available which people can reuse a few times, but most of them get tossed immediately. 88% of the population dispose of polythene bags incorrectly, and only 12% of them are recycled, according to EPA.