While the impactsof plastic bag disposal on the environment arefairly well known, most people are unaware of the adverse health effects that are a result of the production and extremely long life of these “convenient” items. Whether the effects are direct or indirect, they’re almost entirely harmful not only to the planet, but also your wellbeing. Being aware of this can help you avoid becoming a victim of society’s over-reliance on these bags.
The creation of fossil fuel based plastics has let way to a litany of simpler methods of product containment and revolutionized manufacturing. While this is beneficial to industrial production, it has far more downfalls than could be made up for in convenience. As more and more people push for the abolishment of plastic usage, it becomes increasingly evident that the use of non-renewable fossil fuels is becoming less cost efficient as the price of natural resources increases.
The second that petroleum-based plastics begin production, harmful gases are released. These carbon offsets add to the ever-growing problem of greenhouse emissions, which has been proven to lead to higher oceanic temperatures and melting glaciers. These gases are also inhaled by the citizens who live near manufacturing plants. A host of carcinogens and hormone-disruptive chemicals invade the air after being put directly into plastics.
The Real Cost
The pollution that results from plastic manufacturing doesn’t only affect air quality, but the chemicals inevitably find their way to our soil and water as well. There is no facet of nature that isn’t adversely affected by emissions. As the results of this industry are made clear, it should be considered that plastic just isn’t worth it anymore.
Plastic products actually become the most harmful when they are put away in the final step of the disposal processwhich is known as the “grave phase”. While resistance to decomposition is one of the most desirable features of plastic, it is also the greatest liability. The synthetic chemical bonds in plastic make it incredibly resistant to natural organisms that attempt to break it down.
Plastic products remain where they have been disposed for hundreds of years unless burned. Either option is a horrible alternative to recycling, even though only approximately 10% of plastics actually undergo the recycling process. This is why it’s important to use products like Reusable Bottles to reduce the overall amount of plastic waste.
The chemicals that are released during every process of plastic development present troubling health risks. These noxious chemicals cause neurological damage such as hormone disruption and developmental disorders. The damage doesn’t stop at neurological, however. The carcinogens prove harmful to reproductive capabilities that can lead to birth defects, not unlike smoking cigarettes while pregnant. Unlike tobacco use, however, pollution is not an avoidable liability.
Products such as plastic bags prove only to be a detriment to society on economic, environmental, and medical grounds. Reducing the use of plastic-based products is the only way to actively reduce output of harmful chemicals into ecosystems.