What is plastic bag?
A Plastic bag or pouch is a type of container made of thin, flexible, plastic film, nonwoven fabric, or plastic textile. Plastic bags are used for containing and transporting goods such as foods, produce, powders, ice, magazines, chemicals, and waste. It is a common form of packaging. Ban Plastic Bags Slogan is used in most countries.
Ban of plastic bags
Banning of plastic bags has been started in many countries with the coordination with local level and government. In the early 21st century, there has been a global movement towards the phase-out of plastic bags. Single-use plastic shopping bags commonly made from low-density polyethylene plastic have traditionally been given for free to customers by stores when purchasing goods: the bags have long been considered a convenient, cheap, and hygienic way of transporting items.
Consequences of using plastic bags
Governments all over the world have taken action to ban the sale of lightweight bags, charge customers for lightweight bags, or generate taxes from the stores that sell them. As of 2022, such bans have been introduced in 94 countries, with varying degrees of enforcement, and 32 countries instead impose a charge per bag. Many countries are introducing legislation to phase out lightweight plastic bags, because plastic never fully breaks down, causing ever-lasting pollution of plastic bags and environmental impacts. Every year, about 1 to 5 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded around the world.
Why are plastic bags so harmful?
Plastic bags are mostly made out of petroleum products and natural gas.8% of world petroleum resources are used for creating plastic bags at 12 million barrels a day. Ban plastic bags should be complete soon. Half of that is used as materials to make them, and another half for energy to make them. At this rate, it will soon run out impacting many things that depend on the resource. Non-compostable plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
Reasons to Ban Plastic Bags
There are numerous reasons why the government of various countries has come up with strict measures to limit the use of plastic bags. Some of these include:
- Waste plastic bags are polluting the land and water immensely : Plastic bags are difficult and costly to recycle and most end up on landfill sites where they take around 300 years to photodegrade. They break down into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the soil and waterways and enter the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.
- Plastic bags have become a threat to the life of animals living on earth as well as in water :When plastic bags end up in our oceans, animals (including seals, dolphins and seabirds) can get tangled up in them. An animal with a plastic bag around its neck will have trouble moving through the water, catching its prey or feeding, and escaping predators.If they manage to eat the plastic, it can also cause intestinal blockages and can become fatal for that animal.
- Chemicals released by waste plastic bags enter the soil and make it infertile : The increasing amount of plastic waste in landfills has raised a serious concern about the soil fertility among the environmentalists.Environmentalists say that a large amount of plastic dumping can affect the percolation of water.The plastic and polythene waste, when mixed with other garbage will take a long time to degrade as the life of the microbes that enhances the degradation process will be affected an environmentalist said.So that ban plastic bags is very much important.
- Plastic bags are having a negative impacts on human health : The chemicals used in the production of plastic are toxic and detrimental to the human body. Chemicals in plastic-like lead, cadmium and mercury directly can come in contact with the humans. These toxins can cause cancers, congenital disabilities, immune system problems and childhood development issues.However, there is also the issue of health risks that plastic bags pose to the human population due to the toxins they release.
- Plastic bags lead to the drainage problem : Plastic bags also make their way into our sewage systems. Runoff water collects and carries discarded plastic bags and ultimately washes them into storm sewers This is a big problem Clogged storm sewers can disrupt the water flow in local watersheds. Blocked sewer pipes often significantly reduce available water to local wetlands, creeks and streams, leading to massive die-offs and in some cases, total collapse.
All countries should start campaigns to ban plastic bags. Strict laws, policies, regulations are very much important to stop the use of plastic bags.
There are many eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags like reusable jute or cloth bag. Banning plastic bags in all sectors is necessary. 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. Some years ago Nepal Government also brought rules to ban plastic bags but due to the lack of policies and regulations use of the plastic bags is now in a big number.
Besides all of these people keep using bags due to their convenience. But now everyone has to completely stop using plastic bags to save our environment.