Jakarta International College

If you're going shopping at a minimarket or a supermarket, chances are you're not going to get a plastic bag with your purchase. Due to new policies imparted in Jakarta starting from June 2020, plastic bags are no longer available in all minimarkets or supermarkets in Jakarta. Although it might seem like a hassle at first, the policies do have solid ground and are made for a noble cause. Plastic bags are harmful to the environment, and today we will tell you why.

  1. Non-biodegradable

    Bio-degradable refers to the capability of being broken down by the action of living things (such as micro-organisms). Take fallen leaves and paper; for example, over time, they could degrade and break down in a compost pile, which is unharmful to the environment. Plastics are non-biodegradable, which means that plastic wastes will stay in our environment for years and eventually pile up over time.

  2. Harmful to the environment

    Plastic is not only non-biodegradable, but it also releases chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Plastic products contain chemical additives such as flame retardants, UV stabilizers, and colorants added to them during the manufacturing process. In the ocean, these chemical additives can leach into surrounding waters and cause potential threats to marine animals.

  3. Harmful to animals

    In 2019, a pregnant sperm whale was found dead in the Mediterranean Sea. Upon investigation, over 50lbs amount of plastic was found inside the stomach of the whale. This had proven how plastic is dangerous and harmful to animals. Not only whales, but plastic is also detrimental to other animals as they don't degrade and might get eaten or accidentally strangle marine animals.

  4. They block water sources and drainage systems

    Do you ever have problems with floods? Well, plastic bags are known to be one of the leading causes of floods. Plastics don't degrade, and therefore they would stay in dumps and pile up. Frequently, people are undisciplined and throw their plastic bags into a river or sewage. These plastic bags end up blocking water sources and drainage systems and cause them not to work correctly.

Those are some reasons why plastic is harmful to our environment. By the simple act of replacing plastic bags entirely, we can contribute to the betterment of our environment. Remember that our earth is not ours alone, we need to share it with animals and other living creatures around us, and especially with the generations that will come after us.

See you in the next article.