Plastic Bags affect on the Environment
GS104 Intro to Environmental Science
In the slide presentation The Danger of Plastic bags really opened my eyes to the amount of damage and the cost of using plastic bags. The damage done from plastic bags is a global concern it affects all aspects of the environment from the land we live on to the sea we travel to the food we eat, plastic bags are consuming the world we know. We are consumers and if we are not carful the things we use and take for granted will end up consuming us. I learned many things about plastic bags in that short slide presentation but I would like to discuss three things that really surprised me. What plastic bags are made of, what some countries have done to reduce the use of plastic bags and the true cost of plastic bags. Plastic bags are made from thermoplastic which is made from oil. China has banned the use of plastic bags and has reduced the amount of oil consumption by 37 million barrels of oil yearly. If the United States would do the same it could lessen the oil consumption it has and the dependency they have for foreign oil. When plastic photo degrade they break down to a toxic petro-polymers and eventually find their way into the soil and water ways contaminating them. These microscopic particles enter the food chain and then enter us from the food we eat. It takes $4000.00 to recycle just one ton of plastic bags that can be sold only for $32.00 Countries like China, Rwanda, Ireland and Bangladesh have taken the lead on solving the plastic bag issue and have banned the use of plastic bags or they have taxed the use of plastic bags. In either case they are taking a step forward in solving this epidemic that is polluting the world. San Francisco was the first state to have banned the use of plastic bags but there are other states that are looking at following their lead and doing the environmentally correct stand on banning them. If you used cloth bags instead of plastic bags...
References: John Roach, National Geographic News, September 2, 2003
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