Plastic and anything made out of it has been doomed poisonous, and the government is trying constantly to reduce the usage of plastic in daily life. Despite the various efforts that have been put in by the government, there is still the consumption of plastic products. Though the consumption of plastic products and the usage of plastic bags have been reduced but the reduction percentage is nowhere near to what it should have been.
This is due to the rigid mindset of the people. Many people think that they and their ancestors have been using plastic bags and products for years, and no substantial harm has been done up until now. So, what harm will it cause in the future? These people are unaware of the fact that plastic has been eating the insides of humankind, like a parasite, slowly and there is not much time left when its effects will be devastating for the humans. But, once the effects are visible, it will be the point where no turning back will be possible. So, to throw some light on the evil effects of the usage of plastic and to bring some awareness, we have gathered 10 facts that will make you switch to the reusable produce bags.
The plastic bags are nonrenewable products, which means, once they are produced and they enter the market, you are stuck with them. Even after their expiration, they tend to circulate in the environment and affect the balance adversely. Even if you try and recycle them, the cost of recycling is going to empty your bank accounts, and yet it will make no difference to the environment as only a ton of the plastic bags will be recycled using a great amount of money.
- Process of Degradation
Plastic bags take approximately 1000 years to degrade completely, which is around 12 times the average living period of a human. Also, while degrading, the plastic bags tend to break into further smaller parts which are toxic in nature and create an imbalance in the atmosphere, thus contributing to air pollution.
- Adverse Environmental Impact
The usage of plastic product is a major contributor to the climatic shift that our planet is facing presently. The huge amount of chemical waste produced during the manufacturing of the plastic and the toxins that these product releases constantly impact negatively upon the environment and are partly responsible for global warming. Also, these plastic items are seen to be forming a layer in the crust of Earth and thus, not allowing the water to penetrate into the earth. This is reducing the level of underground water and in increasing the sea level, which is resulting in various natural calamities.
The production of the plastic item involves the usage of natural gas, petroleum, oil, and other chemicals. All these components have an unfavorable impact on the environment. Not to mention the chemical waste produced during the process. The waste in itself is non-renewable and is ought to be dumped, which again causes an imbalance in nature. And, above all the cost of production of these items also gets too high.
- Influence upon the Ecosystem
The usage of plastic items and bags causes disturbances in our ecosystem. It is not only because of the hazardous chemical waste or the toxic releases that are associated with the plastic but because they are often consumed by the animals, who think that plastic products as a part of nature. The consumption of plastic products has even caused the death of various animals in the past decade.
- Marine life Crisis
Because of their non-degradation, tons of plastic bags are being dumped into the ocean, in order to get rid of them. This plastic dump has been a reason for the loss of thousands of sea animals every year. A sperm whale was found dead at California beach, in 2008, and around 22 Kg of plastic was found in its stomach, which was considered as the reason for death. Since then, various sea animals have been found victimized to the usage of plastic.
- Impact on Human Health
The regular usage of plastic bags has been linked to various harmful diseases like cancer, abnormalities during birth, retarded immunities, disruption of endocrine glands, etc. This is due to the toxic chemicals that are released by plastic bags. Continuous usage makes these toxins to enter our blood and tissues, and cause ailments.
- Risk of Contamination
The chemicals in the plastic bags attract other hazardous pollutants like the plastic debris, which is petroleum-based. These plastic toxins react with other plastic toxins and contaminate the air. Also, the plastics, when mixed together, become more poisonous and create health hazards.
- Creation of Landfills
Since these plastic bags cannot be decomposed, they are taken to landfills each year and are dumped there. Since, with the growing population, countries are already facing the issues of landfills, and plastic wastes are adding to the issue. Today it is not only refined to land. In the oceans too there are floating garbage landfills comprising mainly of plastic.
- Cost of Usage
As mentioned earlier, the cost involved in the manufacturing and degradation or recycling of the plastic bags is quite high. Also, keeping in mind the health hazards caused by plastic, almost all the stores are charging for plastic bags instead of providing them for free. Thus, it is more economical to use reusable produce bags instead of buying a plastic bag every time.
Thus, the plastic bags are constantly degrading our environment and making it less fit to live in, hindering the lives of all the living beings on this planet. It still resides in our hands to make the world a better place to live in. Say “NO” to the usage of plastic bags, switch to the reusable produce bags, educate your children to do the same, and do your bit to save our planet.