Plastic bags are a very big threat to the environment. They are mostly made of organic polymers which are nothing but long chains of carbon atoms. These polymers are very stable chemically and hence, cannot be broken down by environmental factors easily. Plastic bags are widely used as they are important industrially and are also cheap. However, years of using plastics are now showing their effects on the environment. The piles of non-degradable waste that have been created so far are polluting the air, water, soil, and every other component of nature. It is high time that we become aware of this menace and contribute towards banning plastic globally. Only then, we will be able to save our earth from choking to death.
Plastic: a Menace to the Environment
In order to judge the issue, we must first look into the various problems that arise out of using plastic bags. The problems with using plastic bags are as follows:
1) They are Non-Biodegradable
Plastic bags are made up of elements that are extremely hard to be degraded by 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. Marine animals are often found to be dead after they become entangled with plastic wastes in the sea which leave them incapable of breathing.
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.
For all the aforementioned reasons, it is important that we choose to ban the use of plastic bags altogether. Previously, regional governments have tried to levy taxes on plastic use but it has not been effective. If we do not stop using plastic bags the ill effects of the same will multiply in the future and it will be too late to make further changes. However, before banning plastics, we must make sure that we have access to suitable replacements so that after the ban people do not have to face inconvenience. It is important to save our planet for it is the only place we can call “our home” and we must take every necessary action to do that at the earliest.
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