The truth is plastic bags, like a coin, have two faces—a positive and negative one. Whether it is a shopping bag, grocery bag, trash bag, food bag, or whatever bag it is, they are all made of plastics. Grocery store baggers are very generous in using plastics. They place the fruits in one bag, drop the box of milk in another, and the shampoo in another. Ever wonder why?
The positive side of plastic bags
Grocery stores, shopping centers, dress boutiques, restaurants, and any other establishments would not care to be thrifty in using and giving out plastic bags because it costs no more than a cent, compared to paper grocery bags that cost four cents. It is so economical.
Plastic bags are produced too cheaply and massively that they have gotten the side of at least 80% of store owners. In addition, they are very easy to carry and store, they are light but strong—really a business-catcher.
More to its advantage, according to The Film and Bag Federation, plastic bags consume 40% less energy, 80% less solid waste, produce 70% fewer atmospheric emissions and release up to 94% fewer waterborne wastes compared to paper grocery bags.
Surely, production of plastic bags gains massive increase and manufacturers cannot ask for more to its success. However, seems like the other side of the coin is gaining popularity too. More individuals are now getting concerned how the earth is becoming a victim of the plastic bag success story.
The negative side of plastic bags
Economic vs. environment—that is the debate. While production and consumption of plastic bags gives positive outlook for business, it is not so for mother earth. The success of plastic bags has resulted to an increase of amount of litter found floating in the waters or messing the streets where we live.
Plastic bags, after usage, usually clutter landfills as trash bags. They clog drainage. They contaminate the oceans. They poison sea animals. They are inhaled as toxins when burned. They simply pollute the ground, air and water.
Now that is the true cost of plastic bags, and looks like it is more than a cent. These are very alarming concerns that needs to be properly taken into action.
While it is yet impossible to stop the production of plastic bags, there is a way to help solve the issue. By recycling and reusing plastic bags, there can be less litter around. There are absolutely many ways to recycle and reuse these bags. Reuse them as trash can liners, food bags, plant covers, or bring them again for your next shopping. You can also be creative and recycle them as sling bags or clutches, raincoats, place mats or kites for your kiddo.
Whereas there may be good and bad side of producing and using plastic bags and the debate continues, but as long as we do our part in maintaining a cleaner environment, I guess it is a tiebreak.