Impacts of Plastic Bags

plastic and oceanOften times people don’t think about the harm something may cause until it happens. In the case of plastic bags and how consumers use them, this is definitely seemingly evident. Through the mass majority of the United States people don’t appear to think twice about how they are impacting the environment by simply going to the store to purchase groceries. In the United States these plastic bags are seen as ways to make life easier and more efficient. However, it is gathered that the rest of the world knows something that we do not and that is, plastic bags are fostering a great harm to animals. Many animals throughout the world are ingesting this dangerous commodity and area dying as a result. “Most distressing, over a billion seabirds and mammals, die annually from ingestion of plastics. In Newfoundland, 100,000 marine animals are killed each year by ingesting plastics” (Ansari et al., 2017). Not only is one animals impacted by consuming a plastic bag, but also animals that are considered detritivores. Detritivores are animals that feed and live off other dead animals, “…when a bird or mammal dies in such a manner and subsequently decomposes, the plastic bag will again be released into the environment to be ingested by another animal” (Ansari et al., 2017). Animals are being trapped in this vicious cycle that was supposed to make life favorable and uncomplicated. Another reason that animals are being impacted by plastic bags is due to bag not being biodegradable, “…plastic bags are so problematic relates to their long lifespan” (Greener Ideal Staff, 2018). People aren’t properly disposing of bags and they manage to drift within the street or villages. These bags aren’t just going to disappear, and animals are coming along looking for food.

A very interesting way to help eliminate this problem depicted in the video is through the use of cloth bags as well as the use of biodegradable bags. Communities and officials are also taking measures to ensure that plastic bags aren’t being used through bans and strict consequences. Before, watching this video, I really hadn’t considered the harm that plastic bags had on the environment as well as animals. I believe to help solve the problem of reducing the number of plastic bags within the environment, everyone is going to have to work together. This includes locally and globally, we created this problem as a unit and it should be cleaned up as a unit. I believe that using alternatives to plastic bags is the most beneficial and incorporating more clean ups within communities would also be great. Organizing clean ups will allow for plastic bags to be eliminated as well as other items of trash that pose a threat to the environment. It has been demonstrated through its harmful affects that plastic bags are not “misunderstood” but in fact destructive.



Ansari, Y., Chavan, I.F., Husain, M. (2017). Effect of Plastic Grocery Bags on Environment and Its Reuse. International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology, 3(3), 597-601.

Greener Ideal Staff. (2018 January 18). How Do Plastic Bags Affect Our Environment, Greener Ideal. Retrieved from

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