There is much convenience over using disposable bags when we go shopping, but it has been proven time-and-time again that it’s a huge contributing factor to pollution. As per research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is approximately five hundred billion to one trillion disposable bags used each year around the world.
Even though these disposable plastic shopping bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes at any given time, they decompose slowly and can last for years inside landfills. Furthermore, plastic bags are so lightweight that they can get blown off by the wind and into the sea where unsuspecting creatures might treat it as food.
The Creation of Plastic Bags and its Effects on the Environment
Before we start with the negative effects of plastic bags as they end up in landfills and oceans, let’s start by how they’re created. Plastic bags are manufactured with the use of fossil fuels, and they require a significant amount of energy and water to have them produced and shipped. Furthermore, there are billions of pounds of fossil fuels used in the process, and these are non-renewable sources of energy. While still in its manufacturing stages, factories that create plastic bags will produce tons of CO2 per year.
The Negative Impacts of Plastic Shopping Bags to the Environment
The creation and use of plastic bags have various negative effects on the environment. Apart from just the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources, plastic bags create a further risk of flooding. Since the components used in the creation of these bags don’t break down completely, they can easily clog up storm drains, along with other areas that will eventually cause flooding. The devastating truth about these tiny bits of plastic now gets thrown into the ocean, where they now outnumber plankton in the water.
Increasing Production and Price
There are still more negative impacts of plastic bags on our environment, but there’s also another upsetting piece of information that everyone should know – the costs of production of these bags are becoming increasingly expensive. Hence, it might not even be ideal to use these plastic bags in the future as the costs of creating them get passed down to taxpayers.
Saving earth and environment might begin with us in limiting the production and use of plastic bags. Instead of using plastic, we can use reusable bags instead when we go to the grocery or shopping mall.