GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 258
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In many countries, plastic shopping bags are the main type of rubbish. They cause water and land pollution, so they should be banned.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It goes with saying that plastic shopping bags are the major type of garbage in many countries around the world. However, many demand a ban on plastic bags because they pollute water as well as land. In this case, this essay firmly rejects the demand on utility grounds.
Plastic shopping bags are not the worst environmental selection at the supermarket, rather, they are one of the best selections. These bags made from high-density polyethylene are a marvel of engineering, economic, and environmental efficiency. They are, on the one hand, convenient, extremely cheap, waterproof, and strong enough to carry groceries, and, on the other hand, light and thin enough to produce and transport using mere water, energy or other resources. Although these bags are called single-use, most consumers use them several times and several ways, typically as bin liners. When governments impose a ban on the use of plastic shopping bags, people would buy thicker substitutes with a larger carbon footprint.
Aside from that, even plastic bags are not what they are claimed to be. Environmentalists misrepresent the reality by sustaining plastic panic. All too often they claim that 90% of the plastic comes from land-based sources, yet a group of scientists from four continents in 2019 shed light on the fact that nearly half the plastic in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” was contributed by fishing boats- mostly discarded fishing nets and other gear. Besides, plastic bags once discarded, occupy little room in landfills. They do not release toxic gases like cotton and decomposing paper bags because they are not biodegradable. These bags’ minute quantity of carbon, extracted from natural gas, returns underground, where it is safely sequestered from getting into the atmosphere and ocean in a sophisticated landfill with a robust lining.
In conclusion, banning plastic bags can hurt more than help. Therefore, policymakers should devise a policy that can effectively reduce the environmental impact of human activities.