Plastic bags remain one of the biggest environmental hazards because they are difficult and expensive to recycle. Yet, they are part of our lives despite several bans having been imposed on their usage over the years.
Most plastic bags end up at landfill sites where they may take hundreds of years to photodegrade. During that time, they turn into toxic particles that contaminate the soil and groundwater. More worryingly, these particles enter the food chain when animals, like cows and buffaloes, ingest them. These plastic bags cannot and should not be burned because that pollutes the environment.
Scientists have also discovered that plastic bags cause many deadly diseases, such as cancer, immune system disorders and asthma. The authorities concerned should conduct surveys to ascertain the damage caused by plastic bags to human beings, animals and the environment.
They should get all stakeholders on board and raise public awareness about the adverse effects of using these bags. The government must make a concerted effort to replace plastic bags with environment-friendly material, like paper and jute bags.