Many arguments have long happened among environmentalists about problem of plastic bags. Whether should or should not use this type. As a matter of fact, plastic bags caused major problems for our environment and some places in the world have even banned their use. However, it is indispensable for using due to durability, strength, low-cost, water and chemicals resistance, welding properties, lesser energy and heavy chemicals requirements in manufacture.
Plastic carrier bags became commonplace in the early 1980s, and today between 500 billion to 1 trillion are used annually. It is estimated that over one billion plastic carriers are distributed free to consumers each day. This figure shows that they have caused some problem for environment. Some disadvantages we can see that they are made of petrochemicals, a not renewable resource. They are flimsy and often do not stand up as well as paper or cloth. If disposed of improperly, they are unsightly and represent a hazard to wildlife. Moreover, if Conventional plastic carriers are used they are not readily biodegradable in a sanitary landfill. They clog roadside drains, which could cause the flooding of the street at heavy rainfalls. Despite the above disadvantages this type of bags are still being used day by day and more and more popular. Why?
Plastic bags have become very common in a very short time. They are used by people for almost every sort of baggage carrying and can be used by everyone. Many benefits are attached with them.
First of all, they are durable, strong and low-cost. That is the reason why there are many wholesale companies which sell these at company prices and you can save money on buying it directly from them. You can buy a bundle of 100 for just a few dollars and use them for as long as you want. Except for low price, they are used for many different purposes such as putting meat, vegetables, medicines, news papers, shopping and gifting. With so many different types available in the market you can rest assure to have the type which you meet at a particular time. You can even reuse these and carry whatever you like.
Secondly, plastic bags require less energy than paper ones to make. Many would argue that paper bags are much easier to decompose than plastic counterparts, but the environmental impart is that they come from cutting trees. An average paper takes 2511 BTUs to manufacture, while an average plastic takes only 591 BTUs. This means that the more paper bags are consumed the more trees are being cut down. Cutting down forest is a huge resource cost. Once being produced completely they still need to be transported to their final destination. Because plastic bags are much thinner and lighter than paper ones, it would take seven trucks to transport paper bags instead of one truck of plastic. This is a large comparable savings on fuel, smog caused by the shipping of the bags.
Thirdly, plastic carriers are more environmentally friendly than paper counterparts. While you can carry plastic bags in the rain, the same can not be said of paper types. Adding that, for wet market product like fish and other seafood product, plastic shopping bags can not be altered by others.
By enumerating these things, I am not advocating the use of plastic bags, just trying to figure out what are the benefits of using them, why they have still been preference of retail outlets and choice of consumers.