Plastics have only been around for about 150 years. The first manmade plastic was created by Alexander Parkes in 1862. Seeing as they haven't been around for very long, no one can be sure how long they will take to break down. But many believe that the process will take anything up to 1000 years. That is a long time for one piece of plastic to breakdown.
4 reasons to stop using plastic bags
- Plastic bag recycling is inefficient and frustrating. Although plastic bags take less energy to recycle than paper bags, most recycling facilities do not even accept plastic bags because they can wreak havoc at the plants by getting entangled in the sorting machine. Many plastic bags don’t even make it to the proper recycling facility, if they are to be recycled at all- they can simply fall off the recycling trucks in transport people allowing the plastic bags to get caught in tress, bushes, or fences, where they litter our streets or waters.
- Plastic bags can adversely impact both land and sea wildlife. Many animals, especially birds, are strangled and killed by plastic bags. Some animals, such as sea turtles even eat the plastic bags which can lead to health problems and even death. The bags end up cluttering beaches and lakes, destroying the beauty of the landscape.
- Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources. Most plastic bags are polyurethane, a composite created from non-renewable components such as natural gas and crude oil.
- Plastics biodegrades slowly. In fact, plastic photodegrade which means over time the plastic breaks down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which can eventually contaminate our soil and waterways. As a consequence their microscopic particles can enter the food chain.
So what do you choose? Plastic? Paper? Or reusable
The environment will thank you for taking the time to make sure you have your reusable bags with you when out and about.
Please take a look at the infograph below to find out more information on The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bag.
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