Are Plastic Bags Getting a Bad Reputation?

Clear Polythene bag

Plastic bags are durable and reusable. This is perhaps why these bags have been the preferred packaging option for so many years. The bags are made using low density polyethylene and can be found in various shapes and sizes. The different types include grocery, garbage and dry-cleaning bags.

Many companies around the world also have personalised plastic bags which are made to meet the business criteria. The material, size, graphic design, etc. are customized to work for the company. While they have become increasingly popular, it has also stirred up some controversies that the packaging system poses a serious global environmental problem.

They have been accused to be pollutants as they are not environment friendly. Primary reason behind this is that they take several years to decompose and therefore, cause litter. Various campaign and bans have been implemented.

Why Plastic Bags Are Deemed as Pollutants

One of the biggest concerns is that tons of plastic trash bags fill up landfills. Because these do not decompose easily, the littering results in mountains of garbage. As a result, dump areas become messy and odor-full, and thus leads to sanitation problems.

Plastic bags are often disposed ignorantly, which clogs up the drainage system. The result of this is flood problems during monsoon. They can also contaminate oceans by releasing toxins and poisons which marine animals tend to mistake as food.

Production of them requires petroleum, leading to air pollution issues. Finally, when plastic bags are incinerated as an attempt to empty dumps, harmful toxins are emitted in the air.

Reasons to Use Plastic Bags

The many benefits of the bags cannot be denied. They are light-weight and therefore, easy to handle. As the pricing is minimal per piece, they are also economically a better choice than other alternatives. They are both strong and durable, which means they have the ability to carry heavy and big items. Finally, they are multi-purpose.

The benefits of this packaging option cannot be ignored, and this is why it is important to find ways to use them while minimizing the impact on the environment. Below are some ways to use the bags, instead of banning them.

  • One of the best ways to do this is to encourage people to reuse their plastic shopping bags. Instead of taking new ones from the store, they can carry their own plastic bags. This will help conserve plastic.
  • Plastic bags can be recycled in various creative ways. You can make tote bags with them, or redesign to make wallets or a pouch. Many grocery stores around the world collect plastic bags and recycle them. Different programs are also available to teach the public how they can recycle their bags.
  • Use the biodegradable plastic bags instead. Biodegradable plastics conserve energy and resolve the pollution issue.

Plastic bags are a way of life today as they do have many practical uses, the main concern is really getting the consumer’s to be savvy with how they use them and not throwing them away after just one use!