Plastic bags are a significant source of plastic pollution. Plastic pollution significantly contributes to the deterioration of our environment.
There should be a plastic ban to decrease in plastic pollution. Plastic bags cause land, water and air pollution. Decomposing of plastic waste is also a significant challenge which leads to an increase in plastic pollution.
Using plastic has been banned in various countries because of the adverse effects. However, plastic products have been used in various parts of the world, thereby causing hazards to the environment.
Plastic bags are easily available in the market and are widely used. Plastic bags are usually available in grocery stores and are used to carry grocery items like rice, fruits, veggies, wheat flour and other grocery items. The plastic bags are available in various sizes; they are much more economical and easy to use.
However, bags harm the environment. The plastic items and bags that we use in our day-to-day life are hazardous for our environment. This is a major problem than it appears. Scientists say that plastic bags are a major cause of water pollution.
Plastic waste is also responsible for making agricultural land infertile and also many other problems. Many countries throughout the world, including India, have banned the use of plastic bags to ensure a greener environment.
History of Plastic Bags
The plastic products that we use today were originally acquainted with the world by Alexander Parkes at London’s Great International Exhibition in the year 1862.
Parkes’ used a natural subsidiary to f cellulose as the material, which was formed when warmed and was kept in shape after cooling it.
Coining the word “Plastic”
The word plastic was coined in the year 1909. The word was first used by Leo H. Baekeland to describe a type of material that constituted Bakelite,” a substance he made from coal tar, which was used to make many things like phone, camera and ashtrays.
Plastics were used as a critical segment in the production of all these things. Plastics turned out to be well known throughout the world only after World War 1 when oil becomes effortlessly accessible.
Plastic Bags – A Boon or A Curse?
‘Need to Encourage People for Plastic Ban’
Plastic bags are very lightweight and can be easily carried anywhere.
This may sound like a boon for people, but however, there is also another side if the use of plastic bags. Since it is lightweight in nature, it is easily carried away by wind and water.
This is the reason that it blows away anywhere like seas and oceans and pollutes it. They also destroy the beauty of landscapes. A material called polypropylene is used to make plastic bags. It makes them much durable to use.
Natural gas and petroleum are used to make polypropylene. Natural gas and petroleum are non-biodegradable in nature.
The production of various plastic products, including plastic bags releases greenhouse gases like methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which is the major cause of global warming throughout the world.
People believe that recycling is an alternative to the misuse of plastic waste; however, it is a misconception. An average of only 5% of all the plastic waste can be recycled, and the remaining 95% find its way in soil, water and other landscapes.
According to the latest report, about 35 – 40 % of all the plastic waste is being recycled, and the location of the remaining 60 % is not even known. This makes the plastic producers produce even more number of plastics, and a minor change occurs in the number of recycled products.
Plastic bags considered to be one of the most convenient ways to carry loads of products. However, plastic ban is the solution as it is harmful to human health.
The plastic bag contains a few chemical and synthetic substances in them which can potentially disturb the typical working of the hormones of the human body.
Most of the plastic products that are discharged in the seas and oceans, like plastic bags contain contaminations like PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl) and PAHs (Polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons) which can affect the hormone structure.
When sea animals eat these substances, it travels through the food web and finally reaches to a human while consuming fish.
How can we minimize use of plastic?
Plastic ban has soared high in several countries. The government of India has also made plastic ban in various states of the country. The use of plastic bags should be stopped throughout the country, and strict measures should be taken to implement this.
- There must be a ban on the production of plastic bags also.
- Retailers must be fined to sell plastic bags.
- People who use and carry plastic bags should be fined.
- Some amount must charge plastic bags of good quality which are easily available in the market; this will significantly reduce the use of plastic bags.
- A good option should be available in the market, which can substitute plastic bags.
Plastic ban is a movement in the right direction. Most of the biggest economic countries of the world like China, USA and many European countries have banned the use of plastic bags.
There are many countries which have not implemented plastic bags, and they should do it soon. Some of the concerns arise on which people depend as a source of livelihood.
However, on the other side, the plastic ban is a sole need as these bags are destroying our environment. Innovators will eventually come up with an alternative for plastic ban everywhere. This will, in turn, create products and companies, and finally, people will get employment.
When it comes to production costs, plastic bags and cheaper and much easier to produce as compared to eco-friendly bags, however, the demerit is that the plastic bags undergo wear and tear easily. In fact, people discard them in the garbage bins as soon as they carry their products home.
Eco-friendly bags like that of cotton bags are much durable, and also it can be washed and reused again. Eco-friendly bags are cheaper for the long run because it doesn’t have government intervention to clear them from the street.
They are easily degradable and can be cleared from the face of the world. It is not wise to spend money on something that costs almost three times the amount to get rid of it.
10 Lines on Plastic Ban
- The world produces more than 6 billion metric tons of plastic waste annually.
- Plastic is dumped in lands and oceans, causing massive pollution and environmental problems.
- Plastic is a human-made material and hence cannot be degraded in nature.
- Scientists are working on a natural degradation of plastic through certain types of bacteria and enzymes.
- On average, a person consumes more than 100 kilograms of plastic each year.
- There are more than 12.7 million times of plastic in our oceans as of now.
- Irresponsible disposal of plastics will lead to disturbance in the natural ecosystems as well as our food chain.
- Banning plastic altogether is not possible because we are heavily dependent on plastic every day.
- From our Smartphone’s to computers to medical devices, plastic exist in every sphere of our lives.
- Plastic bags should be banned because the alternative for it exists like jute bag, gunny bag or paper bags.
There are many problems which are caused due to plastic waste, and it has often been overlooked and underestimated.
This is because people don’t think about the long term effect that plastic is causing to the environment. People look at the benefits that they are getting from it.
People do not consider plastic ban and keep using plastic bags owing to the convenience they offer and ignore the adverse effects that are caused to the environment.