Millions of plastic bags are given out to consumers by supermarkets and stores to carry their goods in. They are also cheap, light, durable, easy to carry and in many cases, free. The most commonly used shopping bag is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This type is used in the majority of supermarkets and stores. After these bags are used, they often end up in landfills or as litter, roughly only three percent of plastic bags is actually recycled per year. The materials used in making plastic bags make them non-biodegradable.These harmful substances are toxic and take approximately four hundred years to break down. Since they are not biodegradable, they remain in the environment and are absorbed in soil or water.
Plastic bags may cause large amounts of pollution in every step of their limited life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, production, transportation, and recycling or disposal. Plastic bags can be defined as the most damaging form of environmental pollution. They can have a damaging effect on marine animals and wildlife in addition to the aesthetic effects on beaches, parks, and trees. Plastic bags are potentially one of the main causes of death to marine animals. Polythene can result in blocking the animal’s intestines and possibly lead to the animal’s death. Another possible situation is that wildlife, such as birds, can get tangled in plastic bags causing choking and immobility, which may eventually lead to death. In other situations, get into soil and slowly release toxic chemicals. They eventually break down into the soil, with the unfortunate consequence being that animals eat them and often choke.
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