New Delhi: The omnipresent plastic bag, despite the dangers it poses, continues to be part of our every day lives. The world consumes 1 million plastic shopping bags every minute and India’s plastics consumption is one of the highest in the world. Plastic bag litter has become an environmental nuisance, which if not treated effectively can be quite devastating. Currently in India, the problem is that there is only one national level plastic bag ban policy. Other cities and state though discourages the use of plastic poly bag with the ban but the enforcement is in question. That’s one of the prime reasons that our country is suffering from massive pile up of plastic bag.
1. Plastic Bag Generated So Far Will Be There Till 3017: Yes, that true. A single bag of plastic takes around 1000 years to decompose completely. So, that means whatever plastic bags have been produced so far can still be found on the planet in some form. The end result is that they will continue to harm the environment. While recycling is a good option but the fact is that less than 1% of all bags are being sent to recycling plants. Most of it is just left to become a pollution problem in one way or another.
2. The Disastrous Effect Of Plastic Bag As Part Of The Food Chain: Be it on land or in rivers/oceans, indiscriminate dumping of plastic has led to animals consuming plastic as food, leading to their death. Around 100,000 marine creatures die every year from plastic entanglement and approximately 1 million seabirds die from eating plastic. The reason being plastic cannot be digested. What’s worse, that same plastic bag can also kill numerous other animals – when an animal dies its body will decompose but the bag will not. It will make its way back into the environment again, and pose a threat to another animal. It is a vicious cycle!
Believe it or not, this year the world will consume 5 trillion plastic bags – That’s 160,000 a second! If these are put one after another they would go around the world 7 times every hour and cover an area twice the size of France.
3. It Takes Depleting Natural Resources To Make Plastic: Petroleum and the gas that’s used to create plastic bags are a finite resource and we don’t have these resources in abundance. So, why are we producing plastic bags in huge amount – might well save the finite resources for the future. Not only that, plastic bags are energy consuming. To produce around nine plastic bags, energy equivalent to driving a car for one kilometer!
4. Plastic Is Threatening The Very Existence Of Our Planet: From water to land, air, and soil – Plastic litter is the No.1 cause of the pollution. According to a 2014 study published in a Public Library of Science journal, there are around 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans. From oceans to the river, plastic litter is floating around and harming not only just the marine life but also causing natural disasters like floods. The floods are caused because there is a blockage of drains and plastic bags are solely responsible. Coming to the land pollution, a plastic bag is not getting recycled, it is also not biodegradable, so, when one discards a plastic bag it tends to make its way straight to the landfills where it keeps on staying for 1000 of years – resulting in landfill pollution by getting mixed with the soil and land.
5. Plastic Bag Creates A Garbage Patch: Did you know when the plastic bag is exposed to sunlight for long enough then they undergo a physical breakdown? The ultra-violet rays are responsible for breaking the plastic bag into smaller pieces. So, what’s the problem? When the small fragments mix with soil, lake sediments they end up contributing to the land pollution making a garbage patch in the environment.
If these facts can’t make you ditch the plastic bag, then nothing will! Make this green switch from July 3 – International Plastic Bag Free Day and change the fate of the environment.