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Why are plastic bags so bad for the environment?

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  • Plastic bags are bad for the environment because with all the growing plastic bags (which are not biodegradable) blowing around, anything can ingest it.
  • Animals and everything. also the materials to make plastic bags contribute to the global emissions.
  • Plastic degradation at sea takes between 45-1000 years.
  • Usually though, plastic bags don't biodegrade. They photo-degrade. Which means they break up into smaller pieces of plastic until eventually becoming plastics dusts.
  • Plastic which ends up in the sea (through garbage dumps at seaside, river flow etc) winds up becoming food for marine life that mistake it for food especially of the jellyfish variety.
  • Plastics bags have been found in the stomachs of endangered animals including the leatherback turtles, harbour porpoises and black footed albatross. Ingestion (swallowing) of plastic bags can result in blockages, internal infections, starvation and death.
  • These occur in deserts as well (garbage dumpsites in deserts) where camels and other desert wildlife have been found dead with plastic ingestion.
  • If animals don't die from plastic ingestion, they pollute the food chain instead. After all, we are the ones eating fish and meat.
  • Moreover, it takes about 430,000 gallons of oil to produce 100 million non-degradable plastic bags. And we use 4 trillion to 5 trillion plastic bags worldwide annually. That's using up oil sources without recycling them.
  • Recycling cost of plastic bags: it takes 250 bags to make 1 kilo of plastic - making recycling economically unviable. Furthermore, plastic is made of recycled materials, making them difficult to be further recycled. Burning plastic results in air pollution and toxic ash.
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