Speech On Plastic Bags

940 Words4 Pages
Plastic bags are bad for the environment. They are made from dangerous chemicals, pollute our oceans and land, and are costly to clean up. Banning or taxing them could lead to a long term solution to the plastic waste problem. Most plastic bags are made from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polypropylene, and polychlorinated biphenyl, which are known hormone disrupting chemicals. They take many years to break down, end up polluting our world, and harming life forms. A plastic bag can take anywhere from fifty to one thousand years. Since plastic bags were first introduced in the 1970’s, almost every single bag ever made is still floating around somewhere. Petroleum based bags don’t degrade, they only split into tiny pieces that are easily…show more content…
Each bag takes one cent to make, and seventeen cents per bag to clean up. Taxpayers pay around $88 a year, minimum, on plastic bags. California alone pays about $25 million a year to landfill bags, and public agencies spend around $500 million a year in litter cleanup. Closer to home, The New York Sanitation Department collects more than 1,700 tons of single use carry out bags, a week, and has to spend $12.5 million a year for disposale. Olin Jenner, an executive committee member of Sierra Club Maine says, “According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the 100 billion plastic shopping bags in use each year in the U.S. are made from the estimated equivalent of 439 million gallons of oil, and they cost retailers an estimated $4 billion.” An average plastic bag holds from five to ten items, so in reality, plastic bags are not cheap, and not quite as useful as you think. Environmentalists that are battling the plastic bags with paper, and reusable bags, are also wrong. Even if paper is biodegradable, and cotton totes are said to be eco-friendly, they both risky. “Cotton tote bags...exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far since they require more resources to produce and distribute.” (Noah Dillon). Paper bags have a higher carbon footprint than plastic, and “the process to get that paper bag to the grocery store is long, sordid and exacts a heavy toll on the planet” (Collin Dunn). To get…show more content…
These bags are biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, dissolve in hot water, and are even edible, yet it still looks and feels just like plastic. Kevin Kumala created a better “plastic” that would leave no trace.“Avani bags ‘disappear’ with the help of macro- and micro-organisms under natural conditions and can go to landfills directly. Other bioplastics WILL ONLY degrade under industrial composting conditions and WILL NOT decompose when discarded improperly,” as said on Avani’s official website. The 100% bio-based bag breaks down over a period of months, in land, at sea, or instantly in hot water. Kumala claims his bag leaves no trace of toxins. To prove that the bags wouldn’t be harmful to sea animals, he dissolved a bag, on camera, and drank a cup of it! He wasn’t nervous though, because the plastic passed an oral toxicity test. “Avani Eco produces four tons of material a day that is used for products including plastic bags, food packaging, and covers for hospital beds” (Kieron Monks). Anavi bags are one to two cent more to make, than a plastic bag. However in the scope of things the world would save a lot of money replacing plastic bags with Anavai

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