They are portable, light weight, reusable and easily disposable. However, use of plastic bag has always been a controversial issue given it affects the animal and marine life in many adverse ways and is conventionally manufactured from non-renewable natural resources. Besides, there are many other concerns associated with the use of plastic bags that are of huge significance to the environment and ecology. Use of plastic bags has been globally condemned and criticized with reasonable arguments. This paper elaborates the life cycle of plastic bags and critically analyzes the environmental effects of each stage of their life cycle. Furthermore, various alternatives that can help eliminate the draw backs of plastic bags while maintaining the capacity to deliver the same usability are also enlisted in the paper.
All bags are supposedly light in weight, so they inflate once air is filled in them. This property is not limited to just plastic bags. Indeed, all bags irrespective of their material are light weight, and this property fundamentally makes them suitable for use in everyday life for all purposes. However, plastic bag has a significant edge over other types of bags in that they are purely impermeable and are often transparent. This is what differentiates plastic bags from other bags because they offer the user the ease of carrying liquids which many other types of bags do not. The strength of plastic bags is much more than that of a paper, so they are used for carrying significantly larger weights than other bags. Plastic bags are good in resisting tensile stresses. They bear sufficiently larger tensile forces than any other kind of bag. This makes them the best carrier among the variety of carriers available. They come in a variety of sizes. “Small bags have lower visibility than large bags and thin light (HDPE) bags snag more easily than heavier (LLDPE) bags.” (Verghese, Jollands, and Allan, 2008, p. 10).
In order to estimate the impact