Plastic bags are everywhere! We don’t really think about it but we get them at grocery stores which is the obvious one but we also get them at retail clothing stores and even restaurants sometimes. Plastic bags are convenient because they are light weight, waterproof, and inexpensive but the problems they cause are much more important than our convenience especially since there are multiple alternatives to plastic bags. Plastic bags are easily avoidable because sometimes we don’t even need one. According to the Earth Resource Foundation website we should ask ourselves these questions before we take a plastic bag: “Do I need to take as many plastic bags in supermarkets? Do I need a plastic bag for an item purchased that is already well packaged by the manufacturer? Could I bring my own shopping bag when making purchases? (Earth Resource Foundation: Campaign Against the Plastic Plague)”
Plastic bags are the cause of major environmental concerns; it is estimated that an average person uses around 130 plastic bags per year. A reduction in our use of plastic bags is important in solving the environmental issues that come from them. A couple reasons why we should limit the use of plastic bags are one of the top items of litter on our beaches, roads, sidewalks, and vegetation. They also end up in our oceans and can cause harm to marine wildlife because they mistakenly ingest the plastic or get tangled up in it. Another reason is that plastic bags are not biodegradable meaning they will stay with us for a long time and end up in our landfills, oceans, streets, and so on.
Some easy and cost effective alternatives to using plastic bags are paper bags, and reusable cloth bags. Some other ways to reduce our consumption of plastic bags could be banning them altogether or introducing a tax on plastic bags so for each plastic bag handed out the consumer will be charged and extra 15 cents for example. These options can help with the problem with plastic.
Check out this website for more information on the Campaign Against the Plastic Plague