The convenience of using plastic bags is highly affecting our environment and our health. By throwing away plastic bags, they don’t just disappear. According to Conserve Energy Future, “currently, there are approximately 46,000-1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of the globe’s oceans”. This is one reason why plastic bags should be banned. As we are living on this planet, we should be saving our environment and preserving it by using sustainable resources such as cloth bags instead of harmful plastic bags.
People prefer to use plastic bags because they are easily available; however, they cause serious negative impacts on our health and the environment. Plastic bags not only impact our land, but also our oceans. As the plastic breaks down into small particles releasing toxic chemicals, marine animals consume them, which may further affect our food chain. Plastic bags are made from non-renewable sources such as gas and petroleum. This can enhance the impact of climate change as energy is used to produce these non-environmental friendly bags. The plastic that is broken down into the soil, releasing toxic chemicals, then affects the ecosystem; for example, cows digest grass from the ground. However, if the soil holding the grass they consume has chemicals, they ingest it.
By banning plastic bags and substituting them with cloth bags, there is a big difference because it would be beneficial both financially and environmentally. Places like San Francisco and China have already banned the use of plastic bags because they have acknowledged their side effects. After four years, China’s plastic bag waste has reduced by 40 billion bags! They are encouraging other countries to ban plastic bags as it really does make a difference. Why waste money on making plastic bags when you can use that money to improve other areas like hospitality and education? A video from ABC News Australia portrays the message of using cloth bags; they are mostly 100% cotton made these days. Instead of having to pay extra for plastic bags, you can save money and reuse them multiple times. In addition, cloth bags are durable, washable and can be used hundreds and thousands of times, implying that they are strong, convenient, but at the same time, eco-friendly.
On the contrary, the counterargument is that there are advantages to using plastic bags. In an article by the author Sandra Ketcham, she stated that the main advantages of plastic bags are that they are cost-effective, convenient to use and they cost less than reusable cloth bags. Plastic bags are more efficient, light, waterproof, but can hold multiple items. The critic does have a valid point about the advantages of using plastic bags, as many believe that it is convenient and very efficient to use. In spite of the fact that plastic bags are efficient for use, the production process is not worth it, it will affect our environment by causing even more issues such as pollution that will lead to other serious effects; to illustrate, the human health is a good example, when breathing in bad air from pollution, the gas trapped in our lungs can cause us lung cancer.
There are two perspectives on plastic bags and how it is beneficial or not. I believe that plastic bags should be banned because we can simply substitute it with other environmental-friendly materials out there. Based on the facts and evidence mentioned above, plastic bags are efficient, but they cause bad changes that will affect each individuals’ lifestyle. If everyone is reducing plastic bag use with cloth bags every day, you will see a completely different world. By doing a small thing in addition to your lifestyle, you can make big difference. Use cloth bags to save our planet!