The Life Cycle Of Plastic Bags Environmental Sciences Essay

All bags are purportedly light in weight, so they inflate one time air is filled in them. This belongings is non limited to merely plastic bags. Indeed, all bags irrespective of their stuff are light weight, and this belongings basically makes them suited for usage in mundane life for all intents. plastic bag has a important border over other types of bags in that they are strictly impermeable and are frequently crystalline. Plastic bags are good in defying tensile emphasiss. They bear sufficiently larger tensile forces than any other sort of bag. This makes them the best bearer among the assortment of bearers available. They come in a assortment of sizes. “ Small bags have lower visibleness than big bags and thin visible radiation ( HDPE ) bags snag more easy than heavier ( LLDPE ) bags. ” ( Verghese, Jollands, and Allan, 2008, p. 10 ) .

In order to gauge the impact of the plastic bags on the environment with regard to the single phases of its life, a life rhythm thought ( LCT ) of the plastic bags is conducted. It offers a systematic manner to analysing its environmental impacts which can basically be classified into three cardinal phases, viz. the fabrication phase, the phase of use and the phase of disposal. Examination of these three basic phases is equal to analysis of a merchandise from cradle to sculpt.

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“ To bring forth a individual bearer bag of 6g, the needed natural stuffs were 6.06 g of virgin, 0.26g of recycled pellets and 0.26g of maestro batch. ” ( Mbohwa and Manjera, 2007, p. 506 ) . Whenever the environmental impacts of plastic bags have been compared with those of their paper opposite numbers peculiarly in the fabrication phase, it has been realized that the former has a considerable border over the latter because of a figure of grounds. ( Marlet, 2004 cited in Ayalon, Goldrath, Rosenthal and Grossman, 2009 ) concluded that plastic bags consume much lesser energy to be manufactured and the environmental pollution caused as a consequence of their production is minimum as compared to the features of paper bags related to these countries. Plastic bags tend to salvage a batch of natural resources which are quickly consumed in the fabrication of paper bags. Harmonizing to the consequences of a research showed that although paper bags are frequently thought of as a “ greener ” pick for their considerably lesser deteriorating effects on the environment in comparing to their plastic opposite numbers, stuff consumed in the production of one paper bag is up to 10 times of what is required for the production of one plastic bag. Besides, H2O required to do a paper bag is much more than the volume required to synthesise a plastic bag. Not merely this, paper bags consume cellulose drawn from trees that are indispensable to battle the nursery gases. ( Ayalon et al. , 2009 ) . The bearers are built together with the remainder of the plastic bag, which makes the procedure of industry easier unlike the paper bags, to which lacings are individually attached that non merely increase their fabrication cost, but besides render the procedure of industry cumbersome.

The phase of use

Criticism sing the plastic bags pertains more to their industry or disposal phase than the phase of use. Many people tend to hive away plastic bags so that they can be used once more and once more. What peculiarly adds to the value of plastic bags is their high strength and impermeableness. Plastic bags are the most employed bearer specifically for liquids because they are pore-free and are impermeable. Paper bags are porous and are non a good stuff for transporting liquids. Plastic bags can be tied up more efficaciously as compared to paper bags, because plastic provides the user with this flexibleness.

The phase of disposal

In Australia entirely uses seven billion plastic bags a twelvemonth and a majority of it endup in landfills. Plastic bags take really long to disintegrate. Harmonizing to ( Lapidos, cited in McGrath, 2010 ) , plastic bags photodegrade alternatively of biodegrading and this may take every bit long as 500 to 1000 old ages for one plastic bag to photodegrade wholly. Plastic bags are rendered useless after holding completed their use period, they are either buried in landfills or remain scattered in rubbish tonss in the refuse. Both of the finishs bring specific jobs for the environment in their ain ways that are discussed below, though, the jobs are solvable and the damaging effects can be minimized through proper attention and attending.

Plastic bags form a really little part of the entire waste that is conventionally landfilled both in footings of weight and volume. Harmonizing to ( Convery et al. , 2007 cited in Ayalon et al. , 2009 ) , plastic bags made up to no more than merely 5 % of the entire municipal waste by weight. This is besides supported by the findings of ( Shaldag, 2006 cited in Ayalon, 2009 ) who discovered that thin plastic bags counted merely 0.2 % of the landfill garbage by weight. This clearly speaks of the fact that cut downing the usage of plastic bags will non do much difference to the present volume of garbage deposited in the land all over the universe. This is besides due to the fact that plastic bags are extremely compressible, and tend to make full in the nothingnesss of the landfill, therefore doing the heap even more condense. There is a little hazard that the plastic bags might wing off from the rubbish pile in unconsolidated signifier. However, it depends to a big extent upon the boundaries defined by the municipality of the land every bit good as the usual air current government of the very part. Hence, the hazard can be minimized by taking attention of these factors while specifying the country of landfill.

The high strength of plastic bags becomes a cardinal cause of unfavorable judgment offered by the conservationists against them one time the bags are rendered useless. Number of plastic bags noticed in the waste system of UK entirely was found to be 1678900 when the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs ( DEFRA ) conducted a study in 2001. ( Augustine, 2010 ) . Plastic bags disposed off in H2O cause a menace to the marine life.

Useful surrogate schemes

Although plastic bags offer considerable benefits over other sorts of bags, yet their usage is subjected to controversy because of the demerits they offer in certain countries. Governments in many advanced states have tried to develop options to plastic bag. Emphasis has been mostly placed on cut downing the usage of plastic bags in order to salvage the natural resources and minimise the dangers imposed to animate beings and birds. However, there is a demand to happen better options to the conventional plastic bags so that the inauspicious environmental impacts can be nullified. Most appropriate solution to the current issues related to plastic bags is by happening ways to recycle or recycle the bags one time their period of use is over. “ By and large, the reclaimable carry bags have lower environmental impacts than single-use bags ; nevertheless, the benefits are extremely sensitive to usage rates. ” ( Lewis, Verghese, and Fitzpatrick, 2010, p. 159 ) . While cut downing the environmental effects of bags, the factor that needs to be given supreme importance is their recycling and re-usability. The importance, lastingness and serviceability of plastic bags can non be denied. They doubtless offer the best passenger car service and are user-friendly. Therefore, they should be used multiple times. Plastic bags should be stored for future usage and must go on to be used until they are lacerate off or lost. This will minimise the figure of isolated plastic bags blowing over the rubbish tonss, and therefore cut down menace to the environment in many possible ways. Harmonizing to the research conducted by ( Chase and Hampole, 2010 ) , the signifier of bag found most good for the environment is a non-woven ( polypropylene bag ) that may besides be referred to as the “ Green bag ” .

Plastic bags are the most normally used signifier of bags all over the universe. They are popular for their good strength, snap, high strength to burden ratio, and transparence. They are widely employed to transport things of day-to-day usage. Harmonizing to New York Times, plastic bags used all over the universe in one twelvemonth ranges from 100 million to a trillion in figure. ( Frost, 2010 ) . Their lastingness makes them the most suited stuff for long term usage. However, there has been controversy about the usage of plastic bags because of their long decaying clip. Their disposal is a job because it tends to do environmental amendss. As discussed before, plastic bags cause maximal harm to the environment in the phase of disposal while the environmental effects in the fabrication and use phases are non really important. Even the inauspicious impacts of the disposal phase can be minimized by doing certain that plastic bags are decently buried in the landfill. Measures should be taken to reprobate the disposal of plastic bags on rubbish tonss, because freely blowing plastic bags impose maximal dangers for the zoology of the state.


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