5 Major Reasons to Ban Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are more practical than paper in many ways.  They tend to be more durable (especially when wet), they take up less space in your cupboard (if you save them), and they can be reused more often.  And yet, you’d be better off to reject them completely!

5 Reasons to Ban Plastic Bags

5 Reasons to Ban Plastic Bags

Despite their many uses around the house (to pick up pet messes, hold dirty sneakers, and keep your meats from leaking in the fridge, just to name a few potential uses), plastic bags will eventually end up causing harm, in a number of big ways (to the environment, for sure, and possibly to your family).

Every year we throw away close to 100 billion plastic bags!  So if you’re looking for some solid reasons to make the switch to the reusable tote bags, offered at many grocery stores, here are a few that may change your mind.

1.       Loading the landfills.

No matter how many uses you find for plastic bags, they are eventually going to end up in the landfill, where they will remain for quite a while (roughly a thousand years), taking up space, because they aren’t biodegradable.  Paper bags are no picnic either (denuding the forest as they do), but at least they will eventually degrade if you throw them away.  By selecting reusable bags, you won’t have to face any of these problems.  And by the way, you can also use these totes when you do other types of shopping.

2.       Non-renewable resources

Most plastic bags are made of polyurethane, a composite created from such non-renewable components as natural gas and crude oil.  Harvesting these resources is not only harmful to the planet (through mining practices), but it also depletes valuable natural resources that we can never get back (and that could be put to better use).

3.       Harmful to animals

Many plastic bags find their way out into the world.  Once you throw them in the trash, you don’t have any control over where they go, but you can stop them from getting out into the environment where they can cause harm to whatever ecosystem they end up in.  In case you’re wondering how plastic bags can possibly hurt animals, be assured there are several ways.  Both land and marine animals suffer from strangulation, choking, and entanglement by plastic bags, whether because they blunder into them and become trapped or because they try to eat them.  It is estimated that approximately 100,000 sea animals die each year from plastic bags and they are amongst the top five most common types of refuse found on beaches.  Do you have pets?  They could be in danger, as well.

4.       Harmful to people

If you have children, you should be aware that plastic bags need to be kept away from your tots because they pose a hazard for choking and suffocation.  In fact, dozens of cases of suffocation from plastic bags are reported each year.

5.       Who recycles?

Although it’s true that plastic bags can be recycled, and many markets have bins for customers to recycle their used bags, the unfortunate truth of the situation is that only about 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide — about 2 percent in the U.S.  Despite your best intentions, the odds are against you actually bringing your bags to be recycled.  Make your life easier by taking plastic bags out of the equation.  The benefits to you and the environment will be multifold.

Sarah Danielson writes for Ryson which specializes in bucket elevator conveyors and incline screw conveyor systems to help reduce your business operation costs.

Related posts:

  1. Turn Your Used Plastic Bags Into Clothing!
  2. Compostable Biodegradable Plastic Bags
  3. Plastic Biodegradable Bags Made by the Green Genius Company
  4. The Many Ways You Can Reuse Grocery Bags
  5. Bio-Degradable Trash Bags – CVS Pharmacy Deserves a Mention
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19 Responses to “5 Major Reasons to Ban Plastic Bags”

  1. curse u benkley!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Dear Sir/Madam,
    I’m a volunteer in KESAB’s ‘Road Watch’ program. Volunteers of the ‘Road Watch’program collect litter of particular streets which we they have adopted. In my case, both KESAB and our Council at present are supplying me with plastic bags which are not environmentally friendly. I very much would like to put an end to this and use a bag that is fairly sturdy but biodegradable.

    In my case, the Road that I have adopted is about 6km long, which is quite a reasonable distance to cover. The alternative would be to drag 2 rubbish bins behind me.

    I would be so grateful if you could help me in this matter.

    With kind wishes
    Renate Mueller

    Tzu Chi Buddhists SA
    Part of KESAB’s
    ‘Road Watch’ program

  3. A plastic bag weighs 1/10 of a gram.
    There are 270 pounds of plastic in your car.
    Every toy your kid has is 95% plastic.
    The lap top you are using right now is 92% plastic.
    Plastic is fossil oil and chemicals bonded permanently and can not be recycled.
    80% of the fossil oil used is used to produce plastic.
    If you really want to make a difference, Stop using plastic products. Try to use metal where you can.
    All metal is 100% recyclable.
    Lets wise up and start taking better care of Earth

  4. shuba laba ding dong

  5. trash is going out in plastic. If I can’t get it free, I’ll have to buy it, but it is still going into the landfill. nothing but plastic works for cat litter, soiled medical bandages, and rotting food waste. Banning them is useless and stupid. how about investing in making them more degradable or something. Trash is going out in plastic-period!

  6. I love your writing techniques and ideas, Sarah but sometimes there are a greater use in the things that you’re against

  7. you’re wierd

  8. MMM I like to eat poo too

  9. i didn’t know this but i like to eat poo aswell

  10. I love to eat poo


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