There are many ways through which animals suffer from the improper use of plastic bags. Many animals, including both aquatic and terrestrial species, consume plastic bags and develop severe health issues as a result. For instance, every year, several cows die from plastic bag consumption. This occurrence is mainly due to the high number of plastic bags in their grazing areas. This has been an incredibly colossal concern for the Hindu nation, where the trash collection is irregular, and there is a significant number of cows. Upon close examination, most of the cows with plastic-related injuries usually have over fifty plastic bags in their digestive tracts. When animals consume plastic bags, they suffer from intestinal impediments, leading to a slow, long and painful death. The animals can also be poisoned by chemicals absorbed by the plastic when making their way through the environment, or from the chemicals used in the production of the plastic bags. Since plastic does not easily break down in animals’ digestive tracts, it often accumulates in their abdomens. As a result, the animals feel full even when they have not eaten anything, and they eventually starve, become malnourished, and die.
Although domestic animals and livestock suffer tremendously from plastic bags in the environment, some animals have taken a more hefty blow. Affected by decades of climate change, poaching and habitat destruction, sea turtles face an increasing risk from plastic bags. Sea turtles usually confuse the plastic bags for jellyfish, which is a popular delicacy among sea turtles. A recent inquiry done by University of Queensland researchers found that about fifty-two percent of the globe’s sea turtles have consumed plastic debris. A significant amount of plastic debris consumed by sea turtles originates from plastic bags. This further points out how plastic bags contribute to destroying the environment.
Clogged Sewage Systems
Although wildlife is relatively rare in urban regions, and many companies are taking measures to curb environmental waste, plastic bags significantly contribute to the destruction of the environment there as well. Runoff water accumulates and transports abandoned plastic bags, eventually washing them into storm sewers. Once the plastic bags are in the sewer, they often combine with other types of debris to form clumps, eventually blocking water flow. This occurrence hinders runoff water from proper drainage and negatively impacts people working or living in that area. For instance, when sewers become blocked, roads flood and are shut down as a result until the water drains. The excess water can damage buildings and vehicles, as well as other property. It accumulates and spreads pollutants far and away, causing additional damage to the ecosystem. Clogged storm sewers can also give rise to water flow disruption in local watersheds. Blocked sewer pipes can underfeed water to local streams, wetlands and creeks, leading to massive die-offs and in some instances, total breakdown.