Have you ever shopped at a convenience store? What dothey give you to carry your purchased goods? Is it paper bags? Or cardboards?We often find these things as grocery containers when we shop, yet single-useplastic bags are the most commonly used to carry our goods.
Have you ever shopped at a convenience store? What dot hey give you to carry your purchased goods? Is it paper bags? Or cardboard? We often find these things as grocery containers when we shop, yet single-use plastic bags are the most commonly used to carry our goods.
Single-use plastics are both a gift and a disaster. It has made a revolution in commercial and consumer convenience, as well as better sanitation standards. However, while plastic has various practical uses, humans have developed a dependency on single-use or disposable plastic, severely affecting the environment, especially considering how often they end up in oceans or landfills. How does that happen? Well, we need to know about the lifecycle of plastic bags.
Plastic bags begin their lives as crude oil. The crude oil is heated and converted into polyethylene. Then, it stretched and dyed, becoming a plastic bag and delivered to your favourite store. The store then distributed plastic bags as containers, whether used to carry groceries or offices upplies. Most plastic bags are used only once for an average of 20 minutes before being recycled or thrown away.
The pattern is always the same, and the consumers will always get a plastic bag to carry their goods. However, because consumers receive so many plastic bags, they will either keep them or dump them, but most of the plastic bags will end up abandoned. Recycling a plastic bag takes 85times more energy than creating it. So, more than 98 per cent of plastic bags are discarded instead of recycled and end up in landfills or the ocean.
It is estimated that up to 10 million plastic bags are used every minute around the world. In a landfill, a plastic bag takes 1,000years to degrade. It does not entirely break down; instead, it photo-degrades, turning into microplastics that absorb toxins and pollute the environment. It’s the same when they enter the ocean. Marine mammals like dolphins and seals are often injured or killed when entangled in plastic bags. When exposed to sunlight, seawater, and the mechanical forces of waves, winds, and tides, plastic breaks into smaller pieces and becomes microplastics. Microplastics have been found in many species, including fish, shrimp, and shellfish to be served for our dinner plates. In many cases, these tiny pieces pass through the digestive system and are found clogging the digestive tract or stab an organ, will potentially causing death.
Plastic bags are a convenient way to carry our purchases, but it overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. So, how doyou quit using plastic bags, and what do you deal with the ones you already have? Simply refuse them when they are given and shop with your reusable bag.You can also use recycled cardboard boxes provided by some retailers. Cardboard is easier to break down than plastic, so it is a good option if you forget your reusable bags.
You may reuse the plastic as wastebasket liners, wet item transport, and pet waste collection for the plastic you still keep.However, if it is not suitable for use, you won't be able to recycle them in your typical curbside plastic collection. Still, many major grocery stores and retailers will collect plastic bags and other plastic films and send them for proper recycling. There is only one precondition: these plastic bags must be dry and clean, or the entire batch will be contaminated, and your efforts will be useless.
Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution. It can be a big jump to cut out plastic together, so why not start with plastic bags?
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