Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Are plastic bags posing a great threat to our environmentsolutions to Dissertation

Are plastic bags posing a great threat to our environmentsolutions to plastic bags recycling - Dissertation Example The material from which plastic bags are made, in particular polyethylene, is toxic and contaminates soil and vegetation when improperly disposed of. Making matters worse, recycling plastic bags is problematic because they cannot be recycled together with other recyclable material and when they are recycled they can only be recycled into non-recyclable products. It would therefore appear that the solution to the environmental threats posed by plastic bags is to ban them altogether. However, when one considers the low cost of producing plastic bags and their convenience to shoppers together with the economic opportunities for plastic bag producers, it is worth considering whether or not more resources and efforts should be put into recycling plastic bags. This research study conducts a cost-benefit analysis of the feasibility of recycling plastic bags. Thus this research study will analyze the environmental threats posed by plastic bags, the feasibility of banning or recycling plastic bags and other feasible waste management alternatives. A survey is conducted in which 50 shoppers over the age of 18 participate in a questionnaire calculated to determine how often they receive plastic bags, what they do with them and whether or not they are amenable to purchasing and using reusable bags. The results of the survey are discussed. Table of Contents Abstract 2 I.Introduction 4 II.Research Questions 5 A.Primary Research Question 5 B.Secondary Research Questions 5 III.Statement of the Problem 6 IV.Significance of the Study 6 V.Aims and Objectives of the Study 7 VI.Research Methodology 7 VII.Literature Review 8 A.The Environmental Threats associated with Plastic Bags 9 B.Appropriate Policy Responses to the Environmental Threats of Plastic Bags 11 C.Recycling as a Solution to the Environmental Threats Associated with Plastic Bags 12 VIII.Data Results and Analysis 14 A.Results 14 B.Analysis 15 IX.Conclusion 18 List of References 23 Are Plastic Bags Posing a Great Threat t o our Environment?: Solutions to Plastic Bags Recycling I. Introduction Trillions of plastic bags are used globally each year (Ramaswamy & Sharma, 2011). Plastic bags are made of polymer polyethylene and are non-biodegradable (Sharma, 2007). Plastic together with polyethylene waste is accumulating at an alarming rate and is increasingly threatening the environment in a variety of ways (Usha, Sangeetha, & Palaniswamy, 2011). Complicating matters, when plastic bags are recycled, they lose some of its strength and release toxins so that recycled bags have limited use once redistributed (Sharma, 2007). However, researchers have found that polyethylene, specifically low density polyethylene used in the production of plastic bags can be recycled into petrochemicals and used to produce new types of plastic products or turned into â€Å"refined fuels† (Achillas, Roupakias, Megalokonomos, Lappas, & Antonakou, 2007). Even so, plastic bags cannot usually be recycled with other recyclabl e material. Therefore resources must be committed to segregating plastic bags from the general recyclable trash. This takes time, money and manpower over and beyond that which is necessary for recycling the ordinary recyclable trash. In addition, when plastic bags are recycled into usable material, they can only be recycled into non-recyclable products (Reddy, 2011). Sustainable waste management of plastic is a growing global concern because some plastic and polyethylene take thousands of years to

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