Biodegradable plastic bags are the future
In the United States, around one million plastic bags are used every minute. The calculation comes to each person using 22 thousand bags throughout his or her life. Although recycling has become more popular, only about 13% of the plastic bags are recycled. This is mainly because the cost of recycling these bags is higher than their value in the market. The rest of the plastic bags end up in the water systems and landfills polluting the water and soil. According to research, about 10% of the plastic used in the United States ends up in the ocean. Plastic bags also end up in the grazing areas of farm animals. Due to this many animals and fishes ingest plastic bags which harm their health and can even kill them. Around one million birds die each year due to the plastic bags which end up in the environment.
Environmental groups are trying all over the world to make people aware of the hazards of using plastic bags. However, most countries only recently started to regulate or in some cases ban the use of plastic bags. Eight countries have placed a complete ban on plastic bags while in the US their use is heavily regulated. For this reasons, businesses and companies are looking for feasible alternatives to plastic bags.
The best alternatives to plastic bags are Biodegradable Plastic Bags, which are made of compostable plastic. This biodegradable plastic is made from components which are derived from renewable sources. Bioplastic is not made from petrochemicals, but instead, they are made from plant based polymers like wood-lignin or cornstarch. This is the reason that they break down at a fast rate when they are exposed to the environmental elements. The higher quality bio-degradable plastic will compost completely within 180 days in a compostable environment.
Cost of biodegradable plastic bags
In most cases, biodegradable plastic bags are more expensive than regular plastic bags. However, if you look at the impact on the environment, then this expense is worth it. The high cost of the biodegradable plastic bags is due to the process required to refine and break down the plant based products which are needed to manufacture them. On the other hand, the penalty placed on the improper use of plastic bags in the US can be more expensive. This is all the more reason to use bags made of biodegradable plastic.
Benefits for the environment
Bags made of biodegradable plastic are not only better for the environment, in some cases, they even improve it. Substances like wood lignin and cornstarch enrich the soil and make it more fertile. This results in a better environment for the vegetation to grow which in turn creates more food and shelter for wildlife. Cities and towns have to spend less money on the disposal of plastics from the waste treatment plants. The water systems including lakes, streams, and rivers are less polluted along with the air which is polluted due to the incineration or decomposition of plastic bags by the chemicals. This results in a better natural habitat for animals, fishes, birds and even human beings.