Skip to main content

Should Plastic Bags Be Banned?

Submitted by solomon on Thu, 09/20/2018 - 15:32
image of plastic bag in tree
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Kate Ter Haar

As a teenager I know sometimes plastic bags are not on top of everyone’s mind.  You might think... Why should I care? I know from experience this topic doesn’t really grab much attention. However, in this article, I will hopefully change your view on plastic bags.

The costs 

You may believe ‘plastic bags are cheap to make and easy to scrap’. In reality, this is not true. In 2013, English supermarkets alone gave out 7.6 billion bags.  However, this number significantly decreased in October 2015 when a 5 pence cost was introduced for single-use plastic bags. The outcome was that people began saving their bags instead of littering or throwing them away. Another interesting fact: city councils pay 30p to clear one plastic bag. This costs the UK £11.5 million every year. A small item but such a big cost.

The effects of plastic bags

As you must know, plastic pollution is now always on the news, but do you know the true environmental damage? Plastic bags contain very harmful chemicals which leak out to sea.  Over 5 trillion bags are produced a year. It’s affecting marine animals heavily: 100,000 marine mammals die every year. Can you believe it damages our health as well? Plastic bags cannot be disposed of naturally, as plastic only starts degrading at 700 years and fully degrades in 1000 years.  They can clog up sewer pipes causing flooding. I know everyone has seen a plastic bag in the sky during high winds or plastic bags stuck in a tree. This harms us and the environment. 

Solutions to abolish plastic bags…

With the abolishment, many changes can occur. An example of the change is more money will be saved and can be spent elsewhere like healthcare. It will massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to this, it will also get people to support green industries. The overall income could be used to create a biodegradable bag which could feed sea life and can easily be disposed of.

How can change be possible?

The main way this change can go through is a petition as if we reach 10,000 or more signatures, this topic has to receive a response from the government.

By Ibraheem