Environmental Issues Articles

Disposable bags may seem convenient but have proven to be a huge source of pollution. According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, somewhere between five hundred billion and one trillion disposable bags are used each year around the world. Plastic bags, while only used for an average of about twelve minutes, remain in landfills, oceans, and other places for thousands of years.

Plastic bags are created using fossil fuels and also require vast amounts of water and energy in order to have them manufactured and shipped. The production of plastic bags requires the use of billions of pounds of fossil fuels as well as billions of gallons of fresh water. The manufacturing process results in billions of pounds of solid waste and millions of tons of CO2 every year.

Plastic bags can have various negative impacts on the environment. In addition to the use of natural resources and waste from plastic bag production, plastic bags can increase the risk of flooding. Because they never break down completely, plastic bags can clog storm drains and other areas which can eventually cause severe flooding. Plastic products are also causing serious issues in the world's oceans, where pieces of plastic actually outnumber the amount of plankton in the water. The plastic pieces can lead to avian and marine life choking, consuming partially broken down pieces of plastic, and being strangled by discarded shopping bags and other items. Plastic pollution in oceans has been shown to have a negative impact on hundreds of different species of marine life.

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