Should We Really Ban Plastic Bags?

Posted on October 14, 2020 by Ash Bennett

Eco-friendly shopping bags are here and plastic bags that pollute the oceans should now be out because of their environmental impact. But should we really ban plastic bags in favour of shopping bags made from paper and recycled material?

Should we really ban plastic bags?

At first glance we’ll immediately think that it’s better for the environment if we stop using plastic and wipe it off the surface of the planet. That’s because plastic is non-biodegradable which means it can quickly accumulate especially in developed and developing nations. Landfills will get full and some of the plastic waste ends up in oceans and then harms aquatic life (which also affects people depending on fishing and aquatic resources).

However, we also have to think about the costs in terms of energy and amount of material used. We also have to consider the environmental impact not just when plastic was thrown out, but also on how it was produced in the first place. For example, the raw materials for plastic bags actually come from petroleum and natural gas (basic building blocks of both petroleum and plastic are hydrocarbons). The building blocks get processed and eventually turned into bags and containers (commonly made from high-density and low-density polyethylene).

It would be economic and environment-friendly as well if we can just use the bags several times before they get discarded. However, most bags are only used once or twice and then end up in landfills and other places. We didn’t get the most value and benefit from the plastic bags because they were thrown out immediately.

One way to reduce the impact and waste is to have reusable carry bags. Even if they’re made from plastic, we can use them several times before we throw them out. It’s the middle ground for having a very useful plastic bag and minimising environmental impact.

Here at Kent Paper we have a wide range of products that help reduce environmental impact from business operations (especially bakeries, restaurants, cafes and other food service outlets). You can contact us today if you require practical environmental solutions for your business.

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