From the mid-1980s onwards, plastic bags became common for carrying daily groceries from the store to vehicles and homes throughout the developed world. As plastic bags increasingly replaced paper bags, and as other plastic materials and products replaced glass, metal, stone, timber and other materials, a packaging materials war erupted, with plastic shopping bags at the center of highly publicized disputes. Although few peer-reviewed studies or government surveys have provided estimates for global plastic bag use, environmental activists estimate that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year worldwide.
Plastic has replaced the traditional material (paper/cloth etc) as packing and carry bags because of cost and convenience which is possibly a wrong choice of material for such use. Even though plastic bags can preserve food and can be used for growing vegetables in a controlled environment, their method of disposal has creates unprecedented pollution problem.
Plastic has many more uses other than Plastic Bags and Packing material. It is used for manufacturing of protective covers and parts for many machines, which should be the preferred utility for plastic.
More than a 100 million tones of plastic is produced world-wide each year. Though plastics have opened the way for a plethora of new inventions and devices it has also ended up clogging the drains and becoming a health hazard. Many countries, including India, are trying to increase the amount of plastic that is recycled. But commercial interests create hindrance for effective legislation to remove plastics from goods where they can threaten public health. Also there is a clear trend of shipping off the plastic waste of developed countries to under develop and developing countries. India imported 7,841.8 metric tonnes of plastic waste from the US in the first half of 1994. India is the fourth highest Asian importer of plastic waste behind Hong Kong,...
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