In the UK alone, 15 million plastic bottles are used every single day. The plastic straws we drink with, the plastic bottles we drink from, the plastic bags we carry things home with, these are just a few examples of single-use plastics. In the 1950s, the number of plastic bags used was still manageable, but now, 160,000 plastic bags are used per second worldwide, and half of these are designed to be used just once. We are so dependent on plastic, so we must solve this problem. The government should ban single-use plastic because it can prevent plastic pollution, reduce the demand for plastic production, and can help save the oceans.
Plastic pollution has become an increasingly big problem and banning plastic bags can prevent that. Before the single-use plastic that we are familiar with even gets to our local supermarkets or homes, they are already destroying our environment. 90% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal, these are all non-renewable resources. Plastic bag production is 20% of the world’s total oil consumption. The world’s oil supply is limited, and our society is slowly moving away from using so much oil because plastic has such a big role in oil consumption. Producing less plastic can be better for the environment and conserve resources for the future. After the plastic gets to us, and we throw it away after using it just once, the plastic ends up in landfills. 60% of plastic waste ends up in landfills, and despite what people think, only 9% ever gets recycled. Reducing the use of plastic bags can definitely make the world we live in cleaner and a better place to live. But you still might be wondering where else does the plastic waste go, the answer is the ocean.
Plastic in our oceans can cause major problems for both the animals that live there and also for humans. If the government bans plastic, it can save a lot of lives. 100 million marine animals die from plastic waste alone, 100 million deaths just because we want to drink with a plastic straw. Animals can get caught in the plastic that is left in the ocean. They can also swallow trash because they mistake it for food; not only can this kill fish, it can also kill people. When marine animals swallow tiny plastic particles, humans that eat fish also end up eating these particles, which can cause death or sickness. Even for those who don’t eat fish, plastic can clog sewers and provide breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests, this can lead to malaria and other vector-borne diseases. The government banning single-use plastic can save millions of lives both on land and in the sea.
Every year, 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide. Some may say that with so much plastic being produced, a lot of people are working for the plastic industry, and if the government bans single-use plastic, people will lose jobs. This may be true if we ban all plastic, but not all plastic is bad. Single-use plastic is only designed to be used once, but other plastic, like thicker plastic containers and reusable water bottles, are sturdy and can be used over and over again. If only a quarter of the families in the U.S. cut out the plastic and took reusable bags for one shopping trip each month – our use of plastic bags would go down by 2.5 billion a year. The plastic industry was worth 568.9 billion USD in 2019, and this billion-dollar industry will not go out of business if the government bans plastic. If we don’t ban plastic bags, our world will fall apart, instead, we can use better alternatives, alternatives that can last longer, be renewable, and also more environmentally friendly. The government should ban plastic bags because it can reduce the demand for plastic production and lead us towards a brighter future.
300 million metric tons of plastic are produced every year, which is equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Single-use plastic should be banned by the government because it can lower plastic production, stop plastic pollution, and can help keep our oceans clean. Despite our consistent use of plastic, single-use plastic will lead to the human race’s downfall, and we have to start preventing it now.