Should Plastic bags be BANNED or NOT?

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The picturesque view of the beach is an exquisite sight as you lie on the lounge chair, sipping an ice cold drink. The seagulls soaring in the cotton candy blue sky, the ocean’s waves lapping onto the shore, and the pearly white seashells scattered across the sand. But something else has joined the seashells in the warm sand, and there is nothing winsome about it at all. It’s trash. Paper cups, plastic drinking straws, candy wrappers, and plastic bags. Plastic bags. They are such harmful items, but many people fail to realize it. But you might be wondering, why are these everyday components such dangerous things? Well, animals like fish and birds have been feeding on the plastic we humans have been leaving around. Also, our plastic waste is harming the environment, not just animals. And finally, our plastic waste is harming humans, as well. I believe plastic bags should be banned.

One reason plastic bags should be banned is because it is harming the environment. For example, plastic contains toxins, like BPA. The making and destruction of plastic are full of chemicals and it pollutes the air. In the website https://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/how_plastics_affect_the_environment#.WJ1YHogrLnA
it clearly states, “The manufacture of plastic … pollutes air…” It also pollutes water and land. Another example plastic never breaks down or goes away, so it sits there in landfills. And what does it do in landfills? It just sits there and spreads to the groundwater. In the article http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/dangers-of-plastic, it explains, “Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.” That is polluting more water, which is definitely bad for the environment. Also, plastic harms the environment by harming plants. When plastic bags are thrown on the ground, it makes the plant’s soil less fertile. On the website, https://sites.google.com/a/ames.k12.ia.us/plastic/why-ban-plastic-bags,it says, “When plastic is burned they release toxic chemicals that are deposited in soil and surface water and on plants.” Chemicals are bad for any living thing, and plastic toxins are not allowing plants to grow. We are failing to realize that with plastic bags we are harming our own home.

Another reason that plastic bags should be banned is because plastic is harming marine life and birds. For instance, in the article “Scientists Say More Sea Turtles Are Eating Plastic And Dying”, it says, “Some turtles are poisoned by the water around them because of all the plastic waste….Eating plastic can also starve turtles to death. When they eat plastic, they feel so full, they do not eat their real food.” The sea turtle lives in the ocean, where most of the plastic waste is going. So when it comes to some plastic and eats it, it becomes too full, and because it’s too full, it doesn’t eat its real food. And because of all the plastic waste, sea turtles are now not even safe in their own home. In addition to all these sea turtle problems, 100’s of 1,000’s of animals are being killed by plastic fishing nets. They are getting tangled up and choking on them, causing them to be strangled and they die. Also, plastic never goes away, so it sits there and slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. In the article “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” it informs, “It slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller particles until it is consumed by small birds and fish.” Animals are being harmed by plastic that we are throwing away. Why continue using plastic bags and harm the animals we need in our lives?

The final reason that plastic bags should be banned is because it is harming us, humans. Suppose a small fish ate a piece of plastic, and then a bigger fish ate that fish, and then another fish ate that fish. That goes on and on and on until it reaches the top of the food chain. In the article “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” it tells you, “…one organism consumes the plastic, then a larger organism consumes the smaller one, and then an even larger organism consumes that one until you get to the top of the food chain. That’s us, we’re at the top of the food chain.” That means that piece of plastic is getting into our body! Also, plastic toxins like BPA get in our bodies. 93 percent of Americans ages 6 and older have BPA in their body without knowing it. In the website http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/plastics.html, it says, “Other types of toxic plastics BPA…. and can enter the human body in many ways….Specifically, BPA is a known chemical that interferes with human hormonal function.” Adding to that, plastic toxins like DEHP, are linked to cancers, birth defects, and immune system problems. As you can see, our plastic waste is affecting us.

Some people say that plastic is very useful and it’s very hard to stop using it. That is true. Plastic is in our everyday lives. From plastic straws to plastic keyboards, we use it more than we realize. But the best way to stop too much plastic from ending up in the ocean is to recycle it. But some people say plastic is too expensive to recycle. But why don’t we just recycle it to save the lives of ourselves and other living things? Some people also say that recycling plastic uses up a lot of water. But just think, because we have not been recycling, the water is already contaminated with plastic waste. Our world is becoming polluted because of plastic. A little extra water for the greater good won’t harm anything. And while you’re worrying about the water being wasted, the water will be becoming more dirty and poisonous by the minute. Plastic may cost a lot to recycle, but remember, when you recycle a piece of plastic, you might have been saving lives.

All in all, plastic bags are harmful items that should not stay on this Earth. They are killing much marine life, they are harming the environment, and our plastic is harming us, humans. Why, just for our convenience, should we continue to harm ourselves and the world? Our world and lives are in danger. So the next time you hear the question “paper or plastic?”, you know what’s best to choose.

Lalitha Thatikonda enjoys reading all kinds of books and puts tremendous love to writing. She enjoys performing to the beat of Indian classical dance.

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