Benefits of Replacing Plastic Bags with Biodegradables
If you are trying to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle, then you might be familiar with the concept of biodegradable plastic. With more and more people getting concerned about the adverse effects associated with plastic bags and toxic plastic waste in general, many people are on a lookout of better alternatives for plastic bags. With the implementation of various 3D printing business ideas to replace plastic with organic materials, it is possible to make the environment more green and eco-friendly.
With numerous environmental problems caused by plastic bags every year, bags made of biodegradable plastic are probably a better alternative for conventional plastic bags. Biodegradable bags look and function like a regular bag, however, unlike regular plastic bags, these bags can be decomposed.
Harmful Effects of Plastic Bags on the Environment
Today, extensive use of plastic is negatively effecting our environment. In fact, many countries have banned the use of plastic bags. Still, the use of plastic bags is very common in supermarkets and grocery stores. Due to lack of awareness and understanding, plastic bags are commonly used in the third world countries.
Since regular plastic bags are not sent for recycling, they are mostly dumped in abandoned work sites and many other similar locations.
Also, where waste bins do not have lids, light plastic bags can easily be blown off during high winds. These bags usually end up in the oceans, sea, lakes and rivers where they cause severe harm to birds and fishes every year.
Benefits of Biodegradable Bags
Therefore, in order to combat this problem, use of biodegradable plastic bags is probably one of the best solutions available at the moment. However, many people are still skeptical about substituting plastic bags with biodegradable plastic as there are several speculations regarding the adverse effects of biodegradable plastic bags for the environment as they are not recyclable.
Bags that are made of biodegradable plastic are designed from such materials which are easier to decompose. Almost all biodegradable bags decompose within 2-3 years. They are completely eco-friendly as they do not leave any trace of plastic once they are completely decomposed.
However, there are two major elements that aid in the process of decomposition of these bags. Ideally, they require oxygen and sunlight in order to fully decompose in the environment.
Without sufficient amount of heat and sunlight, these bags cannot decompose irrespective of their manufacturing date.
Today, a significant number of retailers have switched to biodegradable bags. Despite the numerous benefits of biodegradable bags, there are a number of environmental concerns associated with the use of biodegradable bags.
Environmental Issues Associated With Biodegradables
One of the main environmental concerns associated with the use of biodegradable plastic bags is their process of decomposition. If there is not sufficient amount of oxygen or sunlight, the process of decomposition won’t take place. Therefore, atmospheric conditions play a vital role in the proper decomposition of biodegradable bags.
Many reports suggest that certain types of bags cannot completely decompose in the environment and may leave some traces of minerals and metals after they have been disposed.
Many environmentalists also debate over the use of disposable bags and suggest reusable or recyclable bags instead of regular plastic or biodegradable bags.
Replacing disposable bags with recyclable bags or using other reusable alternatives such as jute or tote bags made of different materials such as canvas or parachute is also a great way to reduce the use of plastic bags.
Biodegradable plastic is undoubtedly a better option than plastic bags. However, there are many other alternatives to plastic bags that may be cheaper and equally eco-friendly than biodegradable plastic bags.
The use of plastic bags, whether it is biodegradable or not, can be controlled to a great extent by using other recyclable alternatives.
Other Alternatives for Plastic Bags
Following are some non-biodegradable alternatives that can be used for shopping at stores instead of plastic bags.
A great way to minimize the number of plastic bags used in grocery and other retail stores is by reusing biodegradable, old plastic bags or fabric bags instead.
When using biodegradable plastic bags, make sure to dispose them correctly to ensure their correct decomposition.
Although, the use of biodegradable plastic bags is a great way to save our environment, however, there are some other great ways to improve the environment as well. Reusing bags, refusing plastic bags in supermarkets and disposing plastic bags correctly are some great ideas to make the world greener and environmentally friendly.
By Umer Ishfaq