Plastic bags are a major contributor to plastic pollution – a kind of pollution which is deteriorating our environment. It is a threat to life on Earth. Plastic bags must be banned in order to reduce pollution. Plastic bags cause land, air as well as water pollution. This is the reason why these have been banned in various countries. However, these are still being widely used in most parts of the world and are proving to be hazardous for the environment.
Long and Short Essay on Why Plastic Bags Should be Banned
Essay on Environmental Pollution and Plastic (300 words)
The degree of pollution in our environment is rising by the day. It has increased rapidly with the advent of the industrial revolution. The growing number of factories and vehicles on our planet has increased the pollution level many folds in the last few decades. While the smoke from the vehicles and factories has polluted the air adversely making it difficult to breathe, the industrial and residential waste has contributed majorly to the water and land pollution giving way to several serious illnesses.
Plastic: Major Cause of Environmental Pollution
Among other things, plastic plays a major role in pollution in today’s time. Plastic which is derived from fossil fuels such as oil and petroleum is being widely used for manufacturing numerous things including plastic bags, kitchenware, furniture, doors, sheeting, packing material, countertops and what not. People prefer items made of plastic as these are lightweight compared to wood or metal items and are also quite economical.
The increasing use of plastic is increasing the amount of plastic waste which is hard to dispose of. Plastic is a non-biodegradable substance. It breaks into pieces, deteriorates over time but does not become one with the soil. It remains in the environment for hundreds of years and adds to environmental pollution. It goes into the landfills and leaks pollutants that damage soil and water. Plastic cannot even be disposed of by burning as on burning it produces poisonous gases that can cause serious diseases. Disposing plastic has thus become a big challenge today.
Plastic bags that form a major part of plastic pollution are thus being banned in many countries. However, merely banning plastic bags shall not help. Ban must be imposed on other plastic items as well to bring down environmental pollution.
It is high time we must understand the intensity at which plastic is destroying our environment and making life difficult for plants, animals, marine creatures as well as human beings. The use of plastic products must be lowered to ensure a cleaner environment.
Essay on Why Plastic Bags are Harmful to Health (400 words)
Plastic bags that we commonly use in our everyday lives are a threat to life on Earth. These have slowly swept into our lives and are becoming a major cause of illness in animals as well as human beings.
Plastic Bags: Harmful for Human Health
Plastic bags are extremely harmful to human health. From the time these are manufactured till the time these are disposed of as waste – plastic bags do nothing but harm human health adversely.
The toxic chemicals produced while giving plastic bags their desirable form have a negative impact on the health of those involved in their making. Plastic bags are widely used for food packaging. Researchers claim that some toxic elements from the plastics enter the food items packed in them. Plastic bags thus contaminate the food rather than keeping it safely packed. Many cases of plastic causing harm to the food have been reported. Eating such food can cause food poisoning, intestinal problems, and other health hazards. Plastic bags can even lead to suspected human carcinogens.
Apart from this, plastic bags produce an immense amount of non-biodegradable waste. This waste remains on earth for almost 500 years. This waste material enters water bodies and degrades the quality of drinking water. The quality of drinking water has gone down drastically in the last few decades. It is majorly because of the increasing amount of plastic bags being dumped in the rivers that are a source of drinking water. This has given way to various water-borne diseases.
Plastic Bags: Cause Serious Illness in Animals
Animals and marine creatures are worst effected by waste plastic bags. We throw the plastic bags thoughtlessly after use. These plastic bags form a major part of the garbage areas where the innocent animals go looking for food. Animals often eat small plastic content and even the entire plastic bags along with their food. Small plastic content accumulates in their bodies and causes health problems over time. On the other hand, gulping the entire plastic bag in one go can suffocate them to death instantly.
It is the same as the marine creatures. The water bodies are polluted immensely because of plastic waste. It is deteriorating the quality of water that marine creatures drink. Fishes, turtles and other marine creatures also eat plastic content and sometimes gulp the entire plastic bag mistaking it for food and eventually fall ill.
Plastic bags are thus extremely harmful to health. It is in our favor to stop their use and switch to eco-friendly alternatives.
Essay on Problems Caused by Plastic Bags (500 words)
Plastic bags are quite popular because these are lightweight and thus easy to carry. Besides, unlike cloth or paper bags, we do not even require purchasing these as we go shopping. These are economical and thus given freely by the shopkeepers on the purchase of goods. It is because of all these reasons that plastic bags are preferred by both shopkeepers and shoppers. However, we need to look beyond momentary convenience and see the bigger picture.
Problems Caused by Plastic Bags
Here are some of the problems caused by plastic bags:
Plastic bags are non-biodegradable. Thus, disposal of them is the biggest challenge. They break down into small particles and enter the soil and water bodies however they do not decompose. They remain in the soil and water for hundreds of years and release toxic chemicals thereby damaging our beautiful planet.
- Deterioration of Environment
They are destroying nature owing to their harmful effects. Plastic bags have become a major cause of land pollution today. The waste plastic bags are thrown into landfills where they take almost around 500 years to decompose. These bags are light in weight and are easily carried by the wind to places far and wide. The litter caused by them on the land and the landfills causes land pollution. The plastic bags that enter the water bodies are a major cause of water pollution. These are thus deteriorating our environment in every possible way.
- Harmful for Animals and Marine Creatures
Animals and marine creatures consume plastic particles along with their food. Plastic cannot be digested and thus gets trapped in their intestines. A large amount of plastic is accumulated in the intestines of various animals and sea creatures and results in serious health problems in them. Sometimes, animals gulp the entire plastic bag by mistake. This gets stuck in their throat or intestines and chokes them to death. Sea turtles are especially known to have the entire plastic bag in one go mistaking it for jellyfish. Research shows that waste plastic bags have been a major cause of untimely animal deaths.
- Cause of Illness in Humans
The production of plastic bags releases toxic chemicals that can cause serious illness among those involved in their production. Food packed in plastic bags can also cause health hazards. Besides, as mentioned above waste plastic bags cause environmental pollution. The polluted environment is a major cause of various diseases caught by human beings.
- Clogged Sewage
Waste plastic bags often run down with water or are blown by the wind and get trapped in the drains and sewers. Clogged sewers and drains can be a threat to human beings as well as animals, especially during rains. The water gets accumulated as the drains are blocked because of plastic bags. This can result in a flood-like situation and disrupt the normal life of people.
We need to understand the problems being caused by easy-to-carry plastic bags and stop their use. It is time our government should take some strict measures to ban plastic bags.
Long Essay on Why Plastic Bags should be Banned (600 words)
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 extremely essential to ban plastic bags before they ruin our planet completely.
Countries that have Banned Plastic Bags
Many countries around the globe have either put a ban on plastic bags or levy taxes on it in order to restrict its usage. Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, England, Germany, Hawaii, New York, Italy, Scotland, Rhode Island and Maine are among some of these. These measures have brought down the usage of plastic bags to a large extent. However, the problem hasn’t been solved completely because the implementation of these measures hasn’t been as successful.
The black market for plastic bags exists in some of these countries and these toxic bags are still being circulated illegally.
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 have become a threat to the life of animals living on earth as well as in water.
- Chemicals released by waste plastic bags enter the soil and make it infertile.
- Plastic bags are having a negative impact on human health.
- Plastic bags lead to drainage problems.
Public Must Support Plastic Bag Ban
While the Indian government has imposed a ban on the usage of plastic bags in many states, people are still seen carrying these bags. Shopkeepers stop providing plastic bags to the shoppers for a few days every now and then but switch back to them as the government doesn’t take any strong measures to stop their production and distribution. It is time we must contribute our bit to make this ban a success.
We, the educated lot of the society must take it as our responsibility to stop the use of plastic bags and ensure that those around us stop using these too. Here is how we can support the government in this direction:
- Keep a Tab
We are so accustomed to using plastic bags that it is difficult to stop their usage completely all of a sudden. In order to be successful in this mission, we must keep reminding ourselves about the harmful effects of the plastic bags on our nature and keep a tab on their use. Gradually, we will become habitual to doing without these bags.
- Seek Alternatives
There are many eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags. Instead of taking plastic bags to carry our grocery items and other stuff, we can carry a reusable jute or cloth bag each time we head to the market.
We should reuse the plastic bags we already have at home as many times as we can before throwing them away.
- Spread Awareness
While the government should spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastic bags and the need to ban them by way of advertisements and hoardings, we can also spread awareness through word of mouth. We can educate our house help, car cleaner and kids in the society about the environmental problems caused due to plastic bags and urge them to stop its use.
The problems caused due to plastic bags have 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. They keep using these bags owing to the convenience they offer completely ignoring the fact that these bags have an adverse effect on the environment and are a threat to life on earth.