Plastic bags are commonly used as plastic grocery bags. However, its use has raised lots of concern that would lead us to highlighting the various advantages and disadvantages of the plastic bag.
Actually, the advantages and disadvantages of the plastic bag depend on what type of plastics bag we are dealing with. However, the advantages and disadvantages listed here are applicable to the general plastic bags.
Advantages of plastic bags
Plastic bags are lightweight, this means that they require less energy to be transported and distributed; water-resistant; low cost, this is because manufacturing 1 plastic bag requires very little material; and durable, this means that they can be used so many times. Studies carried out to compare plastic bags with the paper bag for shopping purposes revealed that plastic bags have a low environmental impact than paper bags, they require less energy to be produced, and they can be easily transported and recycled. However, the ability to recycle a plastic bag depends on the type of materials used in manufacturing the plastic bag and how it was made.
More so, studies revealed that the recycling rates of plastic bags are significantly lower than that of paper bags. Also, plastic bags, especially larger ones, can be reused as bin or trash bags. Unlike the paper bags, plastic bags are water-proofed, this means that they are impenetrable to water. As a result of this, they will protect whatever you keep in them. Also, there nature makes it possible for them to keep out oxygen. This feature is very useful as you can wrap them around your food products to store your food for a longer time. They are good insulators of electricity, and finally on their advantages, manufacturing them does not require harming the environment like in the case of paper bags where trees have to be cut down to manufacture them.
Disadvantages of plastic bags
In terms of the disadvantages of plastics bags, they are mostly made of a non-renewable resource. This raises more concerns and have led to the production of biodegradable plastic bags. Just like cloth and paper, the plastic bags are also flimsy and cannot sit well. If indisposed properly, they can constitute environmental nuisance and hazard to wildlife animals especially when swallowed or when they get into water bodies. Also, if not properly disposed of can clog roadside drains, which may lead to flooding on the street in case of heavy rainfalls. If not properly kept away, plastic bags may cause suffocation of little children.
Most plastic bags, especially those made with polymers, are flammable. So, when they come in contact with the heat source, they burn easily. Also, these bags contain PE or PP, which releases CO gas when burnt at low temperature. CO gas is a colorless and odorless harmful gas. Therefore, ensure that you keep your plastic bags away from the potential fire.
Some plastic bags contain additives, which is toxic to health and the environment. Some even decompose to release harmful metals into the soil. Finally, plastic bags may fail, especially when they are made to carry something heavier.
Understanding the above advantages and disadvantages of the plastic bags
would help you in making good use of them.