Plastic bags are a very common sight for most of us in today's world. These durable plastic bags are largely made of polyethylene. Depending upon the usage, plastic bags are available in low density (thin) and high density (thick) styles. Though plastic bags are hugely popular in domestic applications, they are also used extensively in industrial situations for carrying various types of material and goods. These plastic bags may not be able to carry very heavy bulk loads, but they are ideal for transporting smaller amounts of material in as they are water resistant and very hygienic. Plastic bags are an extremely inexpensive and efficient alternative to containers for storage solutions.
Compared to paper bags, plastic bags use less energy and water to produce. These bags start out as crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives. These ingredients are then transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules that are known as polymers or polymer resin. The polymers then go through the process of being heated, shaped, and cooled. After that, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, and printed on.
Because of their lightweight nature, plastic bags make storage and transporting relatively easy. However, you must take care while storing materials in plastic bags to make sure that the goods are stored properly or else spillage might occur during transportation. The introduction of the plastic bag had a positive effect on the environment at first because it meant that trees were being saved as people were using plastic bags instead of paper bags.
However, rampant usage of these bags has caused pollution around the world because these bags are not bio-degradable. They should be disposed of properly or recycled for future use however it is thought that less than one percent of plastic bags are actually recycled. When plastic bags are recycled they are broken down into small plastic pellets which are then processed into plastic film. This plastic film can then be used to build other types of plastics and wood/polymer products.
In America alone it is estimated that approximately 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year. Some plastic bag manufacturers have now introduced biodegradable or compostable plastic bags which are made from starches, polymers or poly-lactic acid, instead of polyethylene, however these bags account for only about one percent of the market.
Many countries have tried to stop people from throwing away plastic bags by making them more durable and more costly to buy. Some countries have introduced a plastic bag tax and other nation’s have even tried to ban plastic bags altogether.