Essay about Environmental Problems Created by Plastic Bags
843 Words4 Pages
A plastic shopping bag, the most known used product discovered by man. Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year (National Geographic News, 2006). As the number of usage increases, the rate of plastic pollution grows eventually to be an immeasurable environmental obstacle that is difficult to control. This essay will unfold the case of plastic bags to identify the outcomes and impacts that are caused, and justify clarifications to this dilemma.
Plastic bags are seen to create many environmental challenges because of their physical and chemical properties. Due to its molecular structure and its inability to rapidly…show more content…
Moreover, different species of birds and marine mammals become terminally entangled by plastic bags restricting their movement and reproduction (World Wildlife’s Annual Report, 2005). A third point of challenges is the significant relationship between petroleum and plastic bags. The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas, both non-renewable resources that increase our dependency on foreign suppliers. According to the Worldwatch Institute (2004), it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to make 100 million plastic bags. For this reason, the production of plastic bags clearly affects the oil prices.
Because of the multiple concerns posed by plastic bags, attitudes addressing them have taken in consideration. For example, a number of towns, states, countries, governments and councils have taken action to restrict their use. Some governments have favored economic methods to reduce the usage. For instance, in 2002 Ireland took the lead in Europe and introduced a 15 Euro cent tax on plastic shopping bags, previously provided free of charge to customers at points of sale. The effect of the tax on the use of plastic bags has been dramatic—a reduction in use by 90% (BBC News, 2002). Other countries are also taxing plastic bags like Italy and Belgium. While few spots around the world that actually banned plastic bags. In England, Modbury became the first town in Great Britain to voluntarily ban plastic bags (The Times
Plastic Pollution Essay
1551 WordsMay 3rd, 20127 Pages
The overuse of plastics in today's society has become major environmental issue for our oceans. Plastic pollution is the dumping, littering, or disposing of any type of man-made plastic that has been produced and has ended up in our ocean and has not been recycled.
History of Plastic
"Plastic" entered the world through chemistry in 1909 and was originally coined to describe Bakelite, the first fully synthetic resin. What make's plastic so unique is when it is heated it can be molded but it retained its shape when cooled (Reddy, 2010). The modern plastic bag was not possible until the accidental discovery of the first industrially practical method of polyethylene synthesis in 1933. Fast forward to today, the use and…show more content…
Web. 28 Mar 2012.
overwhelmed by excessive rain, then those floating objects can float right out to sea. This is precisely what happened on the New York and New Jersey beaches in 1988, when medical waste was floating up onshore. That year had a extremely dry spring, as litter began accumulating on the streets and in storm sewers, heavy rains arrived in mid-summer and overloaded the sewer system. After floating out to sea, the debris was blown back onto the shores from tides and currents.
Effects on Marine Animals
These seals often play with fragments of plastic netting or packing straps, and end up catching their necks in the webbing. The plastic harness can constrict the seal's movements, killing the seal through starvation, exhaustion, or infection from deep wounds caused by the tightening material. While diving for food, both seals and whales can get caught in transparent nets and drown. In the fall of 1982, a humpback whale was tangled in 50 to 100 feet of net and washed up on a Cape Cod beach. (Wohi, 1994) It was starving and its ribs were showing, the whale died within a couple of hours. Along Florida's coasts, brown pelicans diving for fish sometimes dive for the bait on a fisherman's line. Cutting the bird loose only makes the problem worse, as the pelican gets its wings and feet tangled in "Plastics in Our Oceans." Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1994): n.pag. Web. 28 Mar 2012.
the line, or gets snagged onto a tree. Plastic soda rings,