Explain it to me again: why are we still using plastic bags?

Bangladesh banned plastic bags back in 2002. Plastic bags are the common culprit in clogged drains and prolonged flooding. Promoting tote bags is an ecologically sane decision. Yet, sixteen years later, drains are still blocked and streets are still filled to the brim with water. How long will it take Bangladesh to realize plastic’s harmful effects?

But plastic bags are so useful!

Despite outlawing the use and production of plastic bags, the people are not following the law. Why would they? Plastic bags are convenient and useful. They are easily stored and easily disposed of. Most products can be carried in plastic bags, from fruits or vegetables to a bottle of Coca-Cola. These bags are durable. My favourite feature? You can blow air into them, turning them into balloons, or as I like to call them, sonic bombs. All you have to do is once you have it ready just burst them open with your hands and watch all your family members or friends stare at you with utmost contempt and annoyance.

Convenience over all?

The point is, plastic bags are way too convenient. We cannot see any immediate issue when we are using it. The long-term effects of plastic bags are unknown to most people. Even if they know it, they know it in the vaguest forms. We have a general idea that plastic bags may be bad for us. We don’t know how or why. Even for those of us who do have a broader knowledge about the topic, it might be just way too convenient to go against the grain. Would still feel ridiculous to go the market and say, “No more plastic bags. They harm our mother Earth. Get me some organic jute bags or cloth bags. Those are better for the environment.”

It’s the same for most stores actually. Go to any nearby stores, be it your local store for groceries, or some local dispensary, buy something, maybe a couple of medicine or a coil for all those mosquitoes, and chances are that they’re going to give you a plastic bag to carry your things home.

The world is changing though. A lot of super shops now give out tote bags instead of plastic ones. They are much more environmentally friendly than plastic bags. They are certainly not as convenient. For one thing, you can’t turn them into sonic bombs. That might be a good thing depending on how you look at it.

But a cotton tote can be reused and when it is thrown away it will decompose and become a part of the soil, which is a good thing.

Maybe plastic bags are pretty harmful when you look at it like this

Plastic bags are commonly found to be one of the major reasons for sewerage blockade. Do you want the streets to flood? On the other hand Cotton Totes due to being reused doesn’t get thrown away, I mean everyone in my family including me keep those stored and being a Bangladeshi we know the value of something good and how to reuse them even the relatives that receive those bags and THEY REUSE THOSE BAGS! And it does not get thrown away here and there like plastic bags. It’s that useful.

So, in the end, I’d say we should use more cotton totes rather than the plastic bags for not just for the sake of reusing them but also to keep the environment safe and clean.

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