Plastic bags have become a part and parcel of our lives starting from storing cooked items of close to a week to toting your knickknacks bought from a roadside stall to keep your hands free. Also, we often secure our DVDs or testimonials raptly within plastic folders. While preparing our itineraries for a long journey, we often stuff our victuals inside plastic lunch boxes or zip lock bags.
But, do you know these plastic bags have a darker side also and the numerous problems they thrust upon civilization loom larger with each passing day?
Plastic is essentially made of fossil fuel sources i.e. petroleum and natural gases and therefore has toxic effects on our environment. The harmful chemicals of plastic bleed into our landfills and water bodies and pollute them. Plastic is not decomposable and that it why it cannot be completely perished no matter how much we vouch for using degradable plastic components
With a little awareness you will be able to combat the growing plastic problem and make an impact on your environment which it at the butts of danger.
Impact on animals
Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean is home to the biggest albatross community on Planet Earth. These birds fly to the islands in search of food for their offspring. Unfortunately the mortality rate of the Albatross have increased by leaps and bounds because of ingesting large amount of plastic that are mixed in the soil of the region. An estimated rate of plastic accumulation is close to 4 tonnes per day. Floating plastic shards are often mistaken as jellyfish by the other marine animals that live on this fish and succumb to death. Also, animals often swallow plastics floating on water bodies and therefore cannot digest the real food they intake. As a result, the animals die a gradual death sue to starvation.
Plastic bags and other components are becoming stubborn debris of our environment. Every year the government of Australia spends 200$ for picking up the debris that are built up due to accumulation of plastic. As a result, unbarred use of plastic use will lead to amassing of such detrimental debris in our environment.
Using at least ten light weight plastic bags every week leads to more than three times Greenhouse Gas effect than using of a reusable “green bag”. According to a research by University of Hawaii, plastic may release gases that heat up the climate as soon as they are exposed to light. Also poisonous gases like ethane and methane are also released due to such exposure of plastic to light
Problematic recycling of plastic bags
No matter how much you are conscious about using recyclable plastic bags, in reality these bags cannot be fully decomposed. Using three arrow ticks as a recyclable symbol is in most cases a marketing trick adopted by the plastic manufacturing companies. Plastic shopping bags attribute to blocking of drainage system particularly in the developing countries.
Besides all the above mentioned effects, plastics attribute health risk to human population by leaching toxins into water supplies. The list goes unending. It is high time that we are aware of the demerits of random use of plastic in our everyday life and choose objects that are organic and biodegradable.