Polythene bags, commonly known as plastic bags, are popular packaging materials. They are so inexpensive and convenient that most households use them. However, polythene bags have some harmful effects.
Hazard to Children
Polythene bags can be dangerous to children. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year about 25 children in the United States suffocate due to plastic bags. That is why many polythene bags producers print voluntary suffocation warnings, such as "this bag is not a toy."
Littering the Environment
Once polythene bags are used, they often make their way to the streets, beaches and waterways. They litter the environment. When polythene bags are burnt, they produce toxic fumes and pollute the air.
Danger to Animals
Marine animals swallow plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and die. Even after animals bodies decompose, the plastic bags stay intact, and another animal can get hurt. Plastic bags are almost not biodegradable, since they do not decompose during the time span of human lives. Polythene bags eventually break down into small particles resembling plankton, one of the main animal food sources.