We humans have some unfathomable affinity with our comfort zones and procrastination. We are on a slow but steady course of destruction of our environment and some seem to be unperturbed about it. Needless to say, a major reason behind this destruction is the continued use of plastic bags.
Plastic bags are responsible for many major problems that our environment is facing today. It is very difficult to completely stop the consumption of plastic bags anytime soon, but we can at least replace them with reusable eco-friendly shopping bags. Check out these reusable bags.
Here are a few facts regarding plastic bags that will make you realize the gravity of the situation:
According to a research institute, 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year; 80 percent of them are used in Western Europe and North America. According to another study, 60,000 bags are produced in the US every five seconds. Imagine this many plastic bags being accumulated each year.
Plastic bags are made from crude oil, natural gas and other petrochemical derivatives. These are made from compounds that are called monomers that are transformed into a long-chain of molecules called polymers with the help of a process called polymerization. Each year, over 5 billion gallons of crude oil is used in making plastic bags.
Production of plastics requires the use of toxic substances that can leach into the surroundings. These chemicals are very harmful to those workers are exposed to such environment during plastics production.
Plastic bags can take around 1,000 years to degrade – they are not biodegradable and can only degrade because of the UV rays of the sun. Hence, every bag you throw out will sit for hundreds of years in landfills.
It is not just the land that is impacted due to the plastic pollution but water bodies as well. Because the waste is being dumped into the sea, 100,000 marine animals are killed each year as they ingest this waste thinking it is food.
One solution to this problem is to ban the use of plastic bags. There are many countries which have tried this solution and have passed bills to ban the plastic, but largely, this has been unsuccessful.
People cannot stop using something as essential as a plastic bag because of a ban. We need to give them some kind of a replacement. This is the reason why some governments have encouraged the use of reusable bags in place of plastic bags.
We need to educate people about the harmful impact of plastic bags on our environment. We should encourage the use of reusable bags that are very durable. These bags can be used for hundreds of times before they need to be disposed of. On an average, a person uses 200,000 plastic bags in his/her lifetime. Think of how many of them you can save, just by switching over to reusable bags.
The materials from which the reusable bags are made are either natural or recyclable. Reusable bags have other advantages too, as they can be used for many purposes in addition to using them for lunch bags or for buying groceries. They also are much stronger than plastic bags and cannot be torn as easily. They come in different styles and designs that can match your personality.
There are many companies that manufacture reusable bags for different purposes. One such company is Icegreen which makes a large variety of reusable bags. It also manufactures a wide range of insulated thermal bags which can be used to keep your food warm till the lunch-time.
It is important that we realize that if we harm our environment, we are harming ourselves and our family too. It is time we take responsibility of protecting our environment and our planet. Take a look at some other ways you can stop plastic pollution! Making some small change in our lifestyle can create a difference, why hesitate? Do your part to keep the planet healthy and thereby keeping our families healthy and leaving a healthier future for our children!