Every school-going kid has been taught the harmful after-effects of using plastic bags. However, we know the consequences. We will never stop quitting the use of single-use plastic bags. The problem with them is they are not degradable, which adds to the pollution of the living space. Every person on the Earth must ponder over the question of why are plastic bags bad for the environment and practice mindful usage of plastic.
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Plastic Bags and Their Effect on The Environment and Animals
Plastic bags have been a significant threat to animals for decades. Animals find it challenging to differentiate food and plastic bags most of the time. Grazing grounds with dumped plastic bags are found to be hazardous for ruminant animals.
A noteworthy number of cows are dying each year due to swallowing one-use plastic bags. Sea fishes consume plastic bags littered around the shore through the waves taking it to them. Even more dangerous are small debris of plastic intoxication, which has caused the death of large sums of sea-dwelling creatures.
The soil quality deteriorates over the long run when continuous littering of plastics takes place. Losing the attribute of rich soil due to microplastics will intensely affect plant growth. When underground water integrated with plastic is consumed by small animals, it causes blockage of essential fluid circulation and ultimately be fatal. With the already declining rate of environmental replenishments, plastic bags can be an additional hazard to all ecosystems.
Are Plastic Bags Bad for The Environment?
It affects the aquatic environment by directly entering the food chain of aquatic creatures. In the long run, all the plastic waste mixed with the ocean turns into microplastics. This is mistaken to be prey food by large fishes. After consuming the plastic in toxic material passes on to the next creature when they intake lower-level organisms. Thus, a hierarchy of aquatic animals is at the risk of dying due to chemicals released by ingested plastic. Understanding of the question are plastic bags bad for the environment can be made by realizing these points.
Pacific trash vortex is a litter associated with the marine environment. Reports show that this complex data on garbage contains high concentrations of plastic bags or polyethylene covers alone. This has been found to be having adverse and harmful effects on the marine ecosystem.
How Bad Are Plastic Bags?
Here are some essential facts to spill out on the query of why are plastic bags bad for the environment and some accurate facts and data.
- Nearly a thousand years are taken for the decomposition of one plastic bag, and that too it doesn’t degrade completely.
- On the whole, 34% of Leatherback Sea turtles have died due to plastic ingestion.
- It is proven that minute amounts of chemicals mixed in food and water from plastic bags and containers cause health ailments. These can be cancer, congenital disabilities, or even loss of immunity.
- A mere count of 15 plastic bags will compensate for the gas that is needed to drive a distance of two kilometers.
- A survey shows that in the year 2015 alone 0.73 million tonnes of plastic wastes were produced across the country of the United States. Though 87% of this was dumped in landfills and under the oceans without being recycled.
The government of France recently has implemented a ban on plastic wrappers for packing fruits and vegetables. Keeping the health of their people in concern and relatively reducing the pollution to surroundings this measure has been taken.
The UK is also facing severe problems by using more plastic when compared to other countries. The recycling rate of plastic there is less than 10% which should be increased to reduce the impact on the habitat.
Sewage and drainage can be blocked without proper disposal of waste plastic bags. The blockage can collapse the free-draining systems, which in turn will be tough to handle domestic needs.
People might understand why are plastic bags bad for the environment once the pipes in residential areas get choked due to hindered flow of junk and black water. Also, when there is a heavy downpour, roads can be flooded with water due to the blockage of drainage systems.
Back-flow or overflow of drainage water on roads will bring about unwanted infections. This might even be a reason for serious diseases and an easy way for spreading contagious diseases.
Hugely Contributes to The Release of Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases are the major reason for the depletion of ozone and thereby hindering the protection of Earth from dangerous ultraviolet radiations. The chemicals present in the plastic bags on long exposure to sunlight will generate poisonous gases methane and ethylene. These gases are said to be damaging to human health. Not only this but also it adds significantly to the release of greenhouse gases. 3.8 percent of the greenhouse gas liberation is a consequence of plastic usage. Thus, we are able to get a clear idea of why are plastic bags harmful to the environment.
The alluring beauty of nature is also depleted through inappropriate means of plastic disposal. A wonderful sight of a lake, sea, or landscape can be made to look like a dirty place due to floating or littered plastic bags. This might be a small issue to look at. But behind it lies a huge concern of a country’s economy. Tourists will never like to go to a place of scenic beauty with widespread wastes and garbage. This will indirectly impact the income of the nation. The culture and age-old practices of a particular area will also be changed due to plastic litter. Future generations will never learn the importance of keeping their surroundings tidy if this citation continues.
Possible Solutions for Reducing the Detrimental Effects of Plastic on The Environment
- Instead of using single-use plastic bags, alternatively, you can prefer cloth bags or jute bags to buy home commodities. They are suitable for both recycling and reusing.
- The circumstances must be kept clean always without littering around. If at all there is plastic or any waste found in the surroundings, they must be properly picked up and disposed of.
- Oceans must be cleaned regularly to prevent marine animals from dying of plastic intoxication.
- Recycling plastic should be carried out in the right way to save the future from environmental crises.
- Awareness among people must be created to avoid the usage of plastic bags. Educating people about the ill effects of plastic utilization will help solve the problem to a greater extent.
It is in people’s hands to stay aware of the hazardous usage of plastic. Considering the health of many people and researching why are plastic bags bad for the environment, we can conclude on the preventive measures. If we cannot completely cut down the use of plastic, at least using high-grade plastic will suffice.