It is well known that the environment suffers a great toll because of the use of plastic bags. It may be that sea life suffers some of the greatest harm in the short term, while it may be people who suffer the most in the long term as plastic bags will scarcely degrade in the over flowing landfills of the world. Cotton bags that are reusable are undoubtedly beneficial when people choose to use them over using disposable plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be recycled and it can take as many as one thousand years for them to break down. As a result, plastic bags find their way into all aspects of the environment, especially in the sea.
Plastic bags are particularly detrimental to marine species
It is estimated that each year more than one hundred thousand marine creatures die due to plastic pollution. Marine animals often perceive plastic bags as prey species like jellyfish. They end up eating the plastic bags and get digested. These bags will stay in the animals gut because the bag cannot be broken down and often it will not pass through their system: this usually causes a slow and painful decline, eventually causing death. This occurs more commonly with turtles, but the plastic bags negatively affect many other sea creatures. Whales have been found stranded on beaches with their stomachs full of lodged plastic, including plastic shopping bags.
When these sea creatures die from plastic bags in their systems they end up decomposing in the sea and the plastic bags are then released back into the marine environment once again. If these bags do not wash up on the shoreline they may remain in the sea for a thousand years, wreaking havoc upon other marine life. Plastic bags not only cause problems when they are ingested, but marine life will also get entangled with the bags, causing injury or even death.
It is for these reasons and many more that environmentally conscious people are choosing to use reusable cotton bags instead of plastic bags. It may be easy and convenient to simply pick up a plastic bag at the checkout and it may even be cheaper for businesses to stock them, but people are realising the tragic consequences that can occur from just a single plastic bag. It only takes a bit of forethought to switch to reusable cotton bags and after using them a couple times it will become second nature. Cotton bags are the ideal choice for any forward thinking business or consumer whose desire it is to lessen the negative effects of plastic bags on the world’s wildlife.