Imagine if everyone in the world started dumping their old cars into the ocean every time they bought a new one. Sounds scary, right? The chemicals from the paint would degrade and start affecting marine life. All the toxic fluids would fill up the ocean. There would also be man-made metal islands as a result of cars piling up on top of each other. Would you blame Ford or Volkswagen if that happens? No, because it’s the users who are at fault. They are the ones who are indiscriminately dumping their old vehicles into the ocean.
Similarly, with plastic bags, it’s not the manufacturers who should be blamed, it’s the consumers who are disposing of them indiscriminately. Recycling facilities for plastic bags are already in place. Some recycling companies even offer doorstep pickup of plastic garbage. Most shops in the UK that offer plastic bags to their customers also have recycling bins. So, all you need to do is gather the plastic bags and dump them in these bins. Walla! You are part of the solution.
The government can set up the biggest of recycling plants and spend millions on awareness, it doesn’t make a difference if customers do not stop littering. Instead of being enraged about the “big plastic problem”, do your part and find the nearest recycling bin and encourage your friends to do the same.
Over the years, plastic grocery bags have garnered a lot of bad rep and a lot of that is unfounded. Following are 4 popular myths about plastic bags, debunked.
Myth: Manufacturing Plastic Bags Is Extremely Polluting
Fact: Manufacturing plastic grocery bags or anything plastic is a lot cleaner than manufacturing paper and fabric items. One of the reasons they are so cheap is because they take little resources and energy to manufacture. The manufacturing process even causes significantly less water and air pollution.
Myth: Banning Plastic Grocery Bags Is an Effective Way to “Save the Environment”
Fact: Yes, plastic bags do take a long time to degrade. However, if we completely ban plastic grocery bags some other environmental problem will replace the poor biodegradability issue. For example, if we completely switch to cotton bags, we would have fewer farms for growing food crops. A complete switch over to paper, on the other hand, would cause more water and air pollution. In a bid to combat one environmental problem, a shortsighted ban of plastic grocery bags would end up spawning several others. The best solution thus is to encourage responsible disposal of plastic bags.
Myth: Plastic Bags Make up for the Bulk of the Garbage in Landfills
Fact: If you have never been to a landfill, you probably imagine a space that’s littered with plastic bags. The truth of the matter is that plastic grocery bags only make up for about 1% of the total garbage in landfills. They also take up less space than other bag types and emit lesser amounts of greenhouse gases after ending up in landfills.
Myths: Plastic Bags Are the Greatest Threat to Marine Animals
Fact: There is a popular misconception that plastic bags kill about 100,000 marine creatures each year. This myth originated after a 1984 Canadian study concluded that marine animals were being killed thanks to the disposal of fishing nets.
While plastic remains a threat to marine life, there is no debating that there are other more severe man-made dangers that plague our oceans. Oil spillage and unregulated dumping of industrial waste cause much more damage to the marine ecosystem, but they seldom get enough media attention.