Plastic was first invented in 1904 and at that time it was thought to be the ingredient which was going to ameliorate humans’ life. Not until recent years did humanity realize that this specific solution to ease their lives has become an enormous problem that is going to suffocate the Earth. Over the last ten years, more plastic was produced than during the last century, having people used around 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags in a year. There is an acute need to overcome this problem and I strongly believe that completely banning plastic bags is a more sustainable solution than using biodegradable bags, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, biodegradable plastic water bottles or shopping bags are a false solution to the ubiquitous problem of litter in the oceans. In fact, a lot of plastics labeled as biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C, which is evidently not in the ocean. They are also not buoyant, therefore they will sink, so they are not going to be exposed to the UV and decompose.

Secondly, completely banning plastic bags would eradicate the problem directly from its source. By stopping the production of plastic bags, there wouldn’t be any further bags to end up in waste. Moreover, not only would less petroleum be used, but this would also entail that no birds and mammals would be killed, so in the end the environment would be preserved as a whole.

Admittedly, plastics bags are perceived nowadays as a fundamental necessity, so banning them will be grasped as impractical and outrageous, considering people’s reluctance to change. However, there are various ways to alleviate this inconvenience, such as using reusable textile shopping bags or other paper-based wrappings which are genuinely biodegradable.

In conclusion, the recently enforced solution to this problem, biodegradable plastic bags, has proved to be well intentioned, but not realistic. Only after stopping the production of plastic bags will we be able to completely eradicate this problem and conserve the environment.