Danger of Plastic Bags when every time you go to the supermarket you’re probably come home with any kind of plastic bags. We’re not just talking about the bags that your groceries are loaded into when you’re checking out. What about the bags that you put your produce in? Buy a half dozen apples and you put them into a plastic bag to keep them from rolling around, right?
Plastic bottles are almost as popular as plastic grocery bags. Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, only about 23 percent were recycled. That means that 38 billion water bottles find their way into landfills and oceans.
Californians use over 19 billion plastic grocery bags each year. That averages to 552 bags per person. It creates 147,038 tons of waste in the landfills and oceans. That’s danger of plastic bags that we need to realize about them and use less plastic.
Danger of Plastic Bags That We Should Use Less Plastic:
The Effect On Your Health and the Environment
The vast amount of garbage created from plastic bags and bottles is bad enough. Unfortunately, scientists are learning that the dangers of plastic lie far beyond overfull landfills. In fact, it can be quite harmful to our health.
Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. You’ve probably heard the risks of BPA or bisphenol A, which has been shown to alter hormones in the human body and has other negative effects on human health as well.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 93 percent of people had detectable levels of risks of BPA in their urine. The report also noted that the high exposure of premature infants in neonatal intensive care units to both BPA and phthalates is of “great concern.” We’ll come back to BPA on the next entry.
Phthalates are used in vinyl flooring and wall coverings, food packaging and medical devices. Eight out of every ten babies, and nearly all adults, have measurable levels of phthalates in their bodies. Plastic buried deep in landfills leaches harmful chemicals that spread into our groundwater.
It’s harming animals, too. Plastic debris is often ingested by marine animals. Scientists have found that plankton, the bottom of the food chain, are feeding on microscopic plastic fragments that have worked their way down and are polluting deep ocean sediments in ocean plastic pollution category. So, we need to use less plastic.
The food chain means that, eventually, we’re consuming fish that have consumed plankton and we’re consuming plastic. And the vast amount of plastic garbage found in the ocean is literally choking and killing marine wildlife. In addition, all of the floating plastic waste now serves as little boats for invasive species, who are now able to float to new habitats and wreak havoc.
We breathe, eat, and drink plastic residue and the problems are only going to get worse. The solution is to begin eliminating plastic from our lives and to find better materials to use. Next, we’ll take a closer look at one of the most problematic elements in plastic. That is a chemical compound, ‘bis-phenol A’.
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