Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags Thesis

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Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags

The danger of non-reusable bags

There is no doubt that plastic bags pollute the environment. At the same time they are an intrinsic part of our modern society and the way we function. As one report states; "Since their introduction to U.S. supermarkets in the late 1970's plastic bags have become a ubiquitous presence. They were a blessing for every shopkeeper in the world; being lighter, stronger and cheaper than the conventional paper bag. "( Knight M. 2007, para.6). The cheapness and functionality of these bags was to lead to their universal usage and it is estimated that the current consumption of plastic bags in the world today is between 500 billion to one trillion ( Knight M. 2007, para.6).

Furthermore, as more plastic bags are produced so the danger to the environment increases. As one researcher notes, "As more and more plastic bags are consumed on a daily basis, more and more plastic must be produced because, at most, only 3% of plastic bags are recycled" (Benefits of Reusable Bags, para.1) it therefore follows that the idea of reusable plastic bags is an important part of preservation of our already overly polluted environment.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags Assignment

The material used in the manufacture of plastic bags is notoriously polluting. Plastic bags are made from oil and they emit toxic fumes into the environment. It is also a well-known fact that plastic is not biodegradable. In other words, it is estimated that it will take over one-thousand years for a plastic bag to decompose. In chemical terms plastic bags are made of a combination of natural gas and petrochemical derivatives. These are transformed into polymers, which are chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules (Go green! Benefits of reusable bags). One expert described the chemical composition of plastic bags as follows:" the average plastic shopping bag is made from polyethylene -- a thermoplastic made from oil -- and rivals a cockroach for indestructibility" ( Knight M. 2007, para.7).

Plastic bags are also notorious polluters of the waterways and the oceans -- which has a severely detrimental effect on the environment and the ecosystems in nature. When natural environments are polluted by plastic bags the natural balance is upset, which in turn leads to negative environmental consequences. It is estimated that every hour about 200,000 plastic bags are land filled, where they "break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which eventually contaminate soils and waterways " (Knight, 2007, para. 8).

Plastic is also responsible for the death of many animals, which further disturbs the delicate balance in nature and creates environmental damage. As one commentator notes, "There are people that use plastic bags that have no qualms about tossing them into the water, onto the street or into the trash. Some animals then ingest it or get stuck inside it and die" (the Benefits of Using Reusable Bags). The horrendous effect that non-reusable plastic bags can have on wildlife is stated in the following report.

The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic, with birds becoming terminally entangled and, according to a World Wildlife Fund report in 2005, they affect nearly 200 different species of sea life (including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles) which die after ingesting… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags.  (2009, August 5).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environmental-benefits-reusable-bags/7436599

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"Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags."  5 August 2009.  Web.  17 October 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environmental-benefits-reusable-bags/7436599>.

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"Environmental Benefits of Reusable Bags."  Essaytown.com.  August 5, 2009.  Accessed October 17, 2021.