There has been much debate about plastic bags and their effect on the environment, so much so that some councils in coastal areas and the government are looking to put a charge on using them.
More debate is placed on whether plastic or paper bags are better for the environment, but in many coastal aquariums there is a number of warning signs about the dangers of plastic bags but none about paper.
These danger signs are forever present because a floating plastic bag to a number of marine life can resemble food to some animals, which means they will eat the plastic bags, in turn clogging up their stomach to make them think they’re full and then die of starvation. For instance, a turtle will identify a plastic bag as a jellyfish and likewise, a whale will think it is squid.
Both of these animals have slow reproductive cycles and are endangered in many places, so plastic bags in the ocean can cause catastrophic effects. These are not the only animals effected by plastic bags in the ocean though, and in fact, birds and other marine life are also in danger. It is easy for these animals to become entangled in the plastic, causing themselves damage or even worse, death.
The problem is that plastic bags take thousands of years to biodegrade, so one plastic bag can cause a number of deaths and many of these plastic bags in our oceans can be avoided.
The answer is for more people to use biodegradable bags which can reduce danger to the environment and marine life. By reusing bags like these ones, we can reduce the amount of plastic bags found in our oceans each year. It is important that any bags we use and dispose of, are disposed of correctly to reduce danger and improve the welfare of the wildlife and marine life.
Ecological bags and biodegradable bags are inexpensive and have a priceless impact on our environment, so making the change has never been so important.