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The Problem Of Polythene Pollution

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Polythene pollution is everywhere, and the problem is getting worse. For most of us, the problem is seen as one of visual pollution, where plastic bags litter streets, roadways, and in some cases scenic areas across the country. No one will argue that polythene is useful. The plastic bags we use to carry home food or products are for the most part very light and very strong. Using these bags is not really the problem. The problem, leading to polythene pollution, is the improper methods of disposing of the bags. They’ve been marketed as throw-away items, and that is all too often what we do, except they don’t always end up in the garbage. Save A Tree – Polythene wasn’t introduced as a bad thing. It wasn’t all that many years ago that we started using plastic bags to “save a tree”. By using paper bags for groceries, it seemed like we were cutting down trees, using the wood or pulp products on a one time basis, and then throwing the product away. The message was, we were on the verge of making a renewable resource, trees, a non-renewable one. |

We’ve come to realize a couple of things. Because of our forest management practices we can still afford to use paper bags, though we shouldn’t be using them indiscriminately. This by the way isn’t true in all countries. In some places on this earth, trees to produce pulp are scare. The real value in using paper instead of plastic however is that the former is biodegradable, while polythene is not, unless you want to wait around a few thousand years. Small Steps – There are small steps being taken. We still use a vast number of plastic bags, and in spite of anti-littering campaigns, and our best intentions, too many of them find their way into places they really don’t belong. Many retailers are encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags, usually canvas bags, which will last many years and don’t tend to be discarded. Some stores even sell these bags, usually… 253162256

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