The hazards of polythene bags have been known for a long time now. Polythene is the kind of plastic that can be made into sheets and into bags for carrying and storage. Polythene bags come in handy for carrying foods that can be greasy or wet. They can be very convenient even for storing things that need to be kept away from moisture.
However the ubiquitous polythene bags have become major health hazards. The biggest reason for this is the non-decomposing structure of the material. It is virtually non-destructible. It can only be reused and recycled.
These are the few ways it can be disastrous to use the polythene bags:
- The least of all inconveniences they cause is the visible litter they make as they fly around untamed.
- They can cause drains to get choked and may be a cause of waterlogging in the rains.
- They can get in with the fodder or food for animals and they can swallow these bags and choke on them, sometimes resulting in death.
- They are very dangerous to have around young children because they can cause choking or worse suffocation if left unattended.
- They can get blown by the wind in the way of drivers and may cause accidents if they prevent the visibility of the drivers even for a few seconds.
- They often get blown away into the water bodies and cause damage to the life in water.
- They can get stuck in the bushes and then the grazing animals can get their horns entangled into them.
- Also in water they can get stuck in the rocks and then get the fishes and other animals entangled.
- People discard polythene bags instead of using them again which leads to unnecessary overproduction production.
- Many people continue to store food in them but they release toxins if food is stored in direct contact with the surface.
- When they blow with the wind they may even endanger birds by tangling up their wings.
It is important to restrict the use of polythene even if strict and punitive measures have to be taken to prevent their use. That will restrict the hazards arising out of their use.