Going to the markets, supermarket, taking away drinks or buying clothes … We all see the appearance of plastic bags in all daily activities. These habits are still taking place every day, even though the media constantly calls for cutting plastic bags while many communities, young people, and enterprises are making efforts with environmental policies and solutions.
Are we – the modern consumers – have not yet seen through the consequences that plastic bags are increasingly affecting the environment and health?
Are the packaging recycling innovations still not compelling enough to lead to practical action?
If you are reading this article and still do not see the consequences and dangers of plastic bags, or already know, understand but not sure how to change your habit that is harming the environment, this article will be useful for you.
- 1 I / The unpredictable harm of plastic bags when discharged into the environment.
- 2 II / The harm of plastic bags to human health that not everyone knows
- 3 III / Biodegradable plastic bag – The rescue solution to the problem of “plastic bag”
I / The unpredictable harm of plastic bags when discharged into the environment.
Around the world, 1 million plastic bottles are sold every minute and 5,000 billion plastic bags are consumed each year. In Vietnam, it is estimated that each family uses 1 kg of the plastic bag per month. Particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, each day discharges into the environment 80 tons of plastic and nylon.
However, to fully decompose these plastics and nylons, it takes about hundreds or even thousands of years. However, meanwhile, plastic bags are constantly being discharged at a dizzying rate, directly impacting the environment, ecosystems, and organisms on the earth such as:
Plastic bags when released into the environment, mixed in the soil hinder the growth of plants surrounded by it, obstruct the growth of grass that leads to soil erosion, making “degradation” land around the globe, breaking roads, houses, causing landslides, disrupting ecosystems.
Plastic bags are located in the soil, preventing the soil from retaining water and nutrients. This prevents plants from growing on that soil because they cannot transfer water and nutrients to the plant, affecting the growth system of the ecosystem.
Plastic bags are thrown into sewers, lakes, and dams to clog wastewater pipes, increasing the possibility of flooding, especially in the rainy season.
Every year, about 12.7 million tons of plastic waste is discharged into the sea, most of which are plastic packaging, plastic straws … Plastic waste when discharged into the ocean will have a special smell that attracts marine creatures to swallow them and then die. This is the reason why many creatures, especially rare marine creatures like sea turtles, are increasingly exhausted.
Plastic bags are disposed of indiscriminately, not only lose the street aesthetics but also are agents containing pathogenic bacteria, causing sewer congestion, sewage stagnation, stinking, and environmental pollution.
II / The harm of plastic bags to human health that not everyone knows
When it comes to the implications of plastic bags, most of us talk about their environmental effects. In fact, not everyone is interested in the two words “environment”, when most people are quite vague, or at least they are still thinking that its consequences will lie in the future.
However, the truth is, plastic bags are destroying people’s health day by day. Especially when the pace of life is getting faster, convenient food takes the throne, plastic bags become convenient and almost indispensable.
Cancer because of using plastic bags for hot food
In plastic bags, especially cheap plastic bags, the additive content is quite large, which is used to create flexibility and toughness for the bag. These additives when heated (70-80 degrees C) will create toxins. Among them is the plasticizer additive TOCP that can damage and degenerate the peripheral nerves and spinal cord. BBP can poison the testicles, causing birth defects if regularly exposed. On the other hand, many other harmful components in these toxins must be mentioned such as: lead, cadmium harms the brain, increases the risk of cancer.
Cancer when using plastic bags containing sour food
In case of using plastic bags to store acidic foods, toxins in plastic bags will be absorbed into the food. When it enters food, the lactic acid in the mixture dissolves some metals into mercury salts, which can cause cancer.
Cancer when inhaling toxic gas from burned nylon
When burning plastic packaging, exhaust gas, especially dioxin, can cause poisoning, fainting, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood affecting the endocrine glands, reducing immunity, causing disorders. functions, causing cancer, birth defects …
III / Biodegradable plastic bag – The rescue solution to the problem of “plastic bag”
Plastic bags when released into the environment will cause many consequences, especially affecting health. However, it cannot be denied that plastic bags are super convenient and cheap solutions for storing and packing goods. This is because plastic bags possess properties that not all bags can have such as: water resistance, toughness and versatility, light, soft, thin …
Not removing but choosing to reduce the amount of plastic particles, increasing the decomposition rate of plastic bags hundreds of times is a solution to “save” the current situation of plastic packaging. And the product of this solution must be known by many people that it is a biodegradable plastic bag or another name is wheat starch bag.
This type of bag is made from Biobased resin with the main ingredient accounting for 50% of PE primary resin, 40% of starch, which can be wheat flour, cornstarch, tapioca, bagasse … the rest are organic compounds, with the mixing ratio depending on the production unit.
It is the presence of starch that helps plastic bags decompose faster, safer for users and especially extremely friendly with the environment. The decomposition mechanism is as follows: When mixing the ingredients, the biological components from starch are deeply linked into the plastic circuit structure, under the impact of environmental humidity, the biological components will ferment and form microorganisms inside the plastic circuit. The fermentation process for plastic that is not a water-resistant component becomes water-resistant, making it easier for microorganisms to attack the resin. Since then, bags and packages will be completely decomposed in the natural environment after being buried in the atmosphere.
On average, bags will begin to degrade after 6 months and decompose gradually. After about 5-10 years, starch bags will be completely decomposed, many times shorter than plastic bags that take up to 1000 years to decompose. A special point is that starch bags still retain the durable, tough, impervious, heat-resistant properties of ordinary plastic bags. The starch bag is also available in a variety of colors and designs, can print logos, images … to serve the different purposes of the business.
Plastic bags are a human invention, they are not at fault if we use them correctly. How is the right way? That is when not everything can be used in plastic bags, but can be used repeatedly. That’s when using recycled plastic bags. And that’s when the use of starch bags is a priority.