If plastic bags were banned, how would our world be affected?
Before we go deeper into this topic, let’s take a little tour of the history of plastic and how it’s developed. Back in 1907, New York, the first-ever fully synthetic plastic was invented by Leo Baekeland better known as Bakelite (Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride). Since then, the world has started to produce more different types of plastics as such polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Each type of plastic has different properties and serves different purposes as we can observe from our daily routine. Just look at what’s in your hand, or maybe in your pocket, we bring it with us every day!
Plastic bags are available in various materials and types, but yes, they are all plastics anyway. Currently, we have high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bags, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags, polypropylene (PP) bags, and much more in the market. Even we are now equipped with biodegradable and compostable bags, but it will cost more for the end-users. The question is, should these bags get banned too? We’ll leave it for those experts and data to decide.
So how the world would be affected by this? First thing first, how do you get affected by this? No plastic bags for groceries? It does sound like trouble, but we still have an alternative for that -paper bags as for example. No plastic bags for snacks? Now that sounds serious. Does it mean no snacks for us? That is good for diet somehow ~ How about no plastic bags for blood collection?!
As mentioned earlier, different plastics serve different purposes and some of them are highly demanded in almost all main industries including food and beverage (F&B), pharmaceutical, engineering, and more. Depending on their benefits towards our development, the total ban on plastics will cost a tremendous effect on our daily life and it is fair to say that we are too much forward beyond stepping back from using plastics.
Regarding our issue on plastic bags, it does apply the same concept. Some plastic bags with less function or if there is any better option that is available in the market, we can say that it is fine to live without one. In other cases where plastic bags play a much more important role, banning this would be impossible without a proper backup plan! And to keep using plastics also will going to need one absolute plan!