Plastic bags are a major cause of environmental pollution. Plastic as a substance is non-biodegradable and thus plastic bags remain in the environment for hundreds of years polluting it immensely. It has become very essential to ban plastic bags before they ruin our planet completely. Many countries around the globe have either put a ban on the plastic bag or imposed tax on it. However, the problem hasn’t been solved completely because the implementation of these measures hasn’t been as successful as expected.
People are more aware of the fact that plastic is harmful to the environment and if we keep increasing the use of plastic it is possible that we are creating a more harmful environment sooner than later. In this aticle on should plastic be banned it is important to understand that plastic in itself is not harmful when used, or recycled and reused, it is rather the littering of plastic on the streets, on land and water bodies, and the single-use plastic bags which are disposed in the same manner and cannot be recycled. Plastic is a non-biodegradable matter and takes lots of efforts to get decomposed so it is only natural that when such matter is only increasing then the threat to nature also rises.
Many countries like Italy, Bangladesh, China, and Kenya have taken the initiative to ban the use of plastic and are not given any to the public at any check out counter. However, there are many countries that have not adopted this, as it is also difficult to find an alternative to plastic that is easily decomposable and safer for the environment. So, rather than completely banning the use of plastic, we must find ways of recycling and reusing the plastic so that the dumping of plastic does not deteriorate the natural environment.
Important Reasons to Ban Plastic Usage:-
- Plastic can endure every climate and when littered travels through wind or water and reaches ocean bodies or gets stuck on lands and trees and harms these environments as it is non-biodegradable since it is made of non-renewable materials.
- The energy required to drive a car for 1 kilometre is used to make 9 plastic bags and this ratio is irrational as the plastic bag used is rather useful for only 11 minutes to carry materials and then discarded.
- An Environment Health Perspective reports that the components of plastic mimic hormones like estrogen and this causes severe damage to our health as it disrupts the natural hormonal balance in our body.
- It is a threat to wildlife who in negligence sometimes consume plastic which is littered along with their food. Many aquatic animals like turtles suffer a great deal as their digestive system is entangled in plastic and die.
- Plastic bags are not easy to recycle as the recycling rate by the recycling facilities is only 5% so it is tedious work.
Some Major Problems caused due to Plastics:-
- They are Non-Biodegradable–
Plastic bags are made up of elements that are extremely hard to be degraded by the microbes in the environment. They take hundreds of years to be completely decomposed, which essentially means that almost all of the plastic ever made still exists in the environment causing pollution! In fact, plastic bags are a major source of pollution of land and water presently across the world.
2. Effect of Plastic on Human Health–
Due to the excessive use of plastics, there are a number of ways in which plastic finds its way into our food chain. Accumulation of nano plastics over a long period of time can cause organ failure, intoxication and respiratory and gastrointestinal distress. Burning of plastics also produces harmful smoke that can cause poisoning in humans.
3. Harmful for Animals–
Animals, both terrestrial and aquatic, consume a lot of plastic wastes unknowingly. Consuming large chunks of plastic often cause blockage in their respiratory tract. This may result in respiratory failure due to choking. After consuming plastic bag, an animal is not able to digest it and it stays inside its intestine causing complications and ultimately, untimely death.
4. Clogged Sewage–
Another major problem of plastic bags is that it accumulates in waterways and clogs drains and sewages. This can result in overflowing drains which can then breed various vectors of diseases. Afterwards, from this accumulation of plastic bags oxygen supply to the water is reduced and aquatic animals die due to the lack of oxygen as well.
Although plastic is becoming a big threat for all of us, still this problem has often been overlooked and underestimated. This is because people do not look at the long term effect of these small, easy to carry bags they use in their everyday life. Besides all of these people keep using bags due to their convenience. But now everyone has to completely stop using the plastic bag to save our environment and earth.
It is safe to say that like any global problems affecting the environment and the people all over it is not easy to find a particular solution so we can only trust time to see what works and what doesn’t and in the meantime find alternatives which are biodegradable and instead of dumping reuse and recycle and spread awareness about its importance, in this way you can contribute to maintaining nature’s sanctity.