Why We Should Not Use Plastic Bags in Grocery Stores - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-03-16
Why We Should Not Use Plastic Bags in Grocery Stores - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Speech
Categories:  Ecology
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 965 words
9 min read

In most cases, people use plastic bags to purchase groceries since they are very light, reliable and convenient. However currently most of the cities in the world have prohibited the use of plastic bags with a number of them enforcing laws that restrict the use of bags in groceries (Beitzen-Heineke, Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, and Hendrik 1528). Thus in this paper, we are going to discuss more the threats plastic bags pose to the environment and reasons why it is being banned in most of the cities globally.

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Most countries have realized that the use of plastic bags in groceries not only pollute the environment but also have a great hazard to the land. Due to the light weight of the plastic bags, they have a tendency to be moved for long distances by either water or wind (Dauvergne 22). Furthermore, the wind carries plastic bags and spreads all over the area. As a result, the papers get stuck over the trees as others are transported by water in the rivers to the seas.

In addition to that, the plastic bags are made from non-renewable substances which make them enhance climate. Plastic papers are manufactured from petroleum products through polypropylene. All of these petroleum substances are nonrenewable fossil fuel made materials. Hence from the extraction and their manufacturing, they promote greenhouse gases which to a great extent enhance the worldwide climate change. Plastic papers use a lot of energy in their production which is projected to the equivalent energy the care would use to move a car for one kilometer, which the is the energy required in the manufacture of nine plastic bags. When considering the production and the usage of the plastic bags, there is no logic for using them since they use a lot of resources in the production of few papers which have a life span of fewer than 12 minutes ones they have been used as they are dumped.

Plastic bags are non-biodegradable. From the fact that they are made from petroleum products, plastic bags do not rot or disintegrate. Therefore they tend to be broken into small pieces which do not decompose and as a result, they get washed down the streams, thus get them into the ocean where they are consumed by the aquatic animals hence endangering the sea species. For instance, there are about 46000-1000000 plastic particles that are currently floating in each square mile of the world ocean waters (Bartolotta, and Scott 576). Furthermore, these papers are very dangerous to marine and wildlife. Most of the wild animals including bird's animals and the overall aquatic animals comprising of the fishes and turtles, often tend to eat plastic bags as they are mistaking them to food by consuming them. Ones these animals have consumed these plastic bags, the animals get a great problem as their digestive system gets blocked by the particles of these plastic bags making the animals succumb through suffocation (Beitzen-Heineke, Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, and Hendrik 1529). To some small animals often get entangled inside the plastic papers.

Plastic bags are also very dangerous to human beings health despite the fact that we human beings are the one who manufactures and use them (Rivers, Sarah and Nathan 153). Studies that have been carried out have found that plastic bags have certain chemicals which hinder the normal roles of the hormones in our bodies. To some extent, the plastic bags particles that are floating in the oceans contain some pollutants like PCBs and PAHs which are hormone disturbing (Camire 7). These chemicals move through a food web which later is consumed by human beings when they take fish with other marine animals. The chemical compounds are thought to accumulate in the sea animals and fish structures in the system through their exposure in the sea with them. When people prepare fish and these sea creatures, they take all these chemicals to their bodies thus, as a result, these chemicals have health problems to human as they are thought to cause cancer in most cases.

Theses plastic bags are very expensive in terms of collecting them as they really dirty the environment to an extent that is uncontrollable since the papers are scattered and spread all over the land by wind thus making collection difficult. The total expenditure of collecting litter from paper bags is approximated to be 17 cents per bag which are around $88 per annum for each taxpayer for the collection of the paper bag waste. Therefore the papers are very expensive to purchase since the life span of usage of the paper bags is at least 12 minutes after the paper is used for grocery purchase. Furthermore, the cost of the paper bags is double the cost when comparing the cost of production of the paper bags and the cost of purchasing and reusing, therefore it is a loss to the country's revenue. Therefore the call of the ban.

With the restriction of the paper bags, there would be an enhanced technique that will ensure there is replacement of the woven bags or any other materials instead of the paper bags for grocery use. Therefore a lot of the discussed issues in the paper would be solved.

Works Cited

Bartolotta, Jill F., and Scott D. Hardy. "Barriers and benefits to desired behaviors for single use plastic items in northeast Ohio's Lake Erie basin." Marine pollution bulletin 127 (2018): 576-585.

Beitzen-Heineke, Elisa F., Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, and Hendrik Reefke. "The prospects of zero-packaging grocery stores to improve the social and environmental impacts of the food supply chain." Journal of Cleaner Production 140 (2017): 1528-1541.

Camire, Mary Ellen. "Resolve to Reduce Food Waste." (2015): 7-7.

Dauvergne, Peter. "Why is the global governance of plastic failing the oceans?." Global Environmental Change 51 (2018): 22-31.

Rivers, Nicholas, Sarah Shenstone-Harris, and Nathan Young. "Using nudges to reduce waste? The case of Toronto's plastic bag levy." Journal of environmental management 188 (2017): 153-162.

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