Chips are one of the favorite snacks among many people. The taste is of a different kind each time. However, the thing is that to preserve it, producers put the chips in polythene or plastic bags.
These bags are our concern today. In this article, we walk you through many things about chip bags and their environmental impact. Ready?
- Can You Recycle Chip Bags?
- Are Chip Bags Biodegradable?
- Are Chip Bags Bad for the Environment?
- Is It Safe to Burn Chip Bags?
- What to Do with Chip Bags (Ways to Reuse)
Can You Recycle Chip Bags?
When you buy your chips, what you often focus on is the chips themselves. And not necessarily the packaging materials. This is often the case with many people.
As people are concerned about the environment, we should begin to ask pertinent questions. One such germane question is whether we can recycle chips bags. This is important so that we would know how to manage the packaging material after enjoying our chips.
It seems that the only thing you may enjoy about your chips is the taste and probably the design on the packaging. The packaging itself may not give you the ecstasy you want, especially if you are an environmentalist.
This is because you cannot recycle chip bags. This seems sad for the environment, but it is the current state of things. The reason for this is because of the material of the chip bags. Chips bags are often aluminum or polyethylene materials, which are often of low density.
This makes it difficult to recycle. Aside from this, chips bags often contain different kinds of plastic materials. Separating these plastic materials may prove difficult for recycling companies. So, in the long run, it seems that the best way is not to package your chips bag for recycling. If you are doing this, it might just amount to a way of time.
The good news is that many manufacturers have realized this. This has made them put in efforts to produce and package the chips in eco-friendly packaging. However, this has not gone very far. While we still await this, we should become conscious of the environment and reduce our waste.
Are Chip Bags Biodegradable?
It seems that the problem of chip bags does not end at being not recyclable. They also extend to not being biodegradable. Luckily, however, this is not the case for all.
Recently, many companies have started making chips bags that are biodegradable. However, this has not gone too far. So, the situation still largely remains that the many chip bags around are not biodegradable.
Many chip bags contain different plastic materials. Some of them are even aluminum materials. What this signifies is that the chips’ bags would take 100’s of years to biodegrade.
Even after breaking down after more than a century, they don’t disappear from the environment entirely. They reduce to microplastics that remain in the soil for many more years.
Are Chip Bags Bad for the Environment?
As an environmentalist, this question is essential. To many people reading this, too, this question is pertinent to them. That is why we have provided an answer that settles all doubts about chips bags and the environment. Follow through to gain insight into the issue.
The truth is that chip bags can be bad for the environment. This is not an answer that puts a smile on people’s faces, but that is the true position. The reason for this is not farfetched.
1. Chip Bags are Not Recyclable
One, chip bags are not recyclable. As we have pointed out earlier, your favorite chip bags are not recyclable because of their materials. The implication of this is that they end up in the garbage can.
Without a doubt, this does not dignify the environment. Even after properly disposing of them, they still end up in a landfill. And can be there for a long time.
So, for the fact that they are not recyclable, they are bad for the environment.
2. Chip Bags Contain Plastic and Aluminum Materials
It is no longer hidden that anything containing plastic is not suitable for the environment. They have a ripple effect on the environment, and this isn’t good for all of us.
Sadly, the chip bags contain plastic or polythene material. Some of them even include aluminum materials. These materials are not good for the environment.
For instance, plastic materials take hundreds of years to degrade. After they seem to have degraded, there are still some materials in the soil. These materials are microplastics. The microplastics take additional years to also vanish from the soil.
Before all these occur, a lot happens. For example, the flood could wash the chip bags into the ocean where fish and other marine animals could feed on them. This would cause problems for them. Asides from this, the flood or wind could also transport them to an unwanted environment. They can pollute this environment or even block the drainage system.
Again, if they remain too long on the soil, they could harm the soil. One way is by reducing the fertility of the soil and stunting plants’ growth. This way, food security may be affected, and the whole population would be affected.
So, you see, chips may be okay, but the ripple effects of their bags on the environment are not okay.
3. Chip Bags and Their Production May Contribute to Global Warming
Here is the thing, most of the chips we buy are not from here. Many of them come from overseas. First, the cost of shipping them is not only measured in monetary value. The environmental impact is also of great concern.
For instance, shipping them from overseas means more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Also, transporting them from the port to the warehouse and the store is another concern. More greenhouse gas gets into the environment.
This is still the transporting means; we have not looked at these chip bags’ production process. The chances are that some major hazards get to the environment through this also.
So, whichever way we want to consider it, it seems that the chip bags are bad for the environment. And since there is not yet widespread production of eco-friendly chip bags, we have only these. The best thing to do is to reduce our use of chip bags. And dispose of them properly.
Is It Safe to Burn Chip Bags?
It may look straightforward and less expensive to get a match and burn your chip bags but don’t do it. Generally, burning things is not suitable for the environment. If you burn your chip bags, you are creating more problems for the environment.
First, you are contributing to the pollution of the environment. There is no doubt that when you burn things, fumes get into the environment. These fumes contaminate the air we breathe in. For many of us, this is a problem for our health. Asides from this, pollution and burning fumes contribute to greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
This is not the end. When you burn your chip bags, you are also damaging the soil. For instance, you are reducing soil fertility and nutrient. This can heavily affect plants’ growth and food security for millions of people.
Also, when we burn things, we are not patient enough to burn them thoroughly. The implication of this is that many of the burnt particles remain in the environment. When it rains, the flood can wash them off into nearby rivers. The wind can even blow them away, and they may end up in the sea or other unwanted places.
When this happens, they cause a hazard to wherever they find themselves. For instance, if they end up in the sea. Now, fish and other marine animals, not being able to discern, could feed on them. Without a doubt, this could cause a problem for marine life or sometimes result in death.
If humans end up eating these fish, there might also be a problem. Recall that these chip bags are plastic materials. And many plastic materials can cause cancer in humans. This does not sound well for any of us at all.
So, it is better we do the right thing now. While it may seem easy to burn every chip bag you come across, you must consider the environmental impact.
What to Do with Chip Bags (Ways to Reuse)
Getting creative is not the exclusive talent of a single person. Neither is there only one thing we can get creative about. As far as it concerns us, we all can get creative about different things simultaneously.
Now, with regards to chip bags, we can all get creative about them. You don’t have to enjoy the chips alone; you can also make something meaningful from your chip bags.
With chip bags, it is even essential. The reason is that it will help reduce the environmental impact of the chip bags. Recall that the chip bags are not recyclable, they are not compostable, and they take years to biodegrade. It is to everyone’s benefit if we can put them to multiple uses and save the environment.
So, what are the ways to get creative with your chip bags?
1. Use as A Gift Bag
The good thing about chip bags is that you can always convert them to gift bags. However, you must ensure that you carefully open the chip bags as recommended before you can do this. If you tear the chip bags carelessly, there might not be a way to convert it into a gift bag.
Now, how do you go about it? First, you need to turn the chip bags inside out so that the silver interior is outside. This makes it beautiful. Ensure you straighten and pull out all the edges.
Once you have done this, you can get a dish, soap, and water. Then you can begin to wash. Washing it this way will help you remove all oil particles that may still be lurking in the chip bags.
After washing, allow it dry, and that’s it for you. You can get a small thread to beautifully tie your new gift bag after putting the gifts in it.
2. Make Beautiful Decorations
You can use your chip bags to make beautiful decorations in your houses and offices. There are different ways to do this. But two of the easiest ways are this.
One, cut your chip bags into various sizes and gum it at strategic places in your home or offices to beautify it.
Two, you can shred it and use it as decoration flowers or materials for your next party.
Whichever way you want to go about it, the ball is in your court. However, don’t forget to wash it with soap and water before using your chip bags as decoration materials.
3. Use them As Covers
You can always deploy your chip bags as covers for different materials. Use the chip bags to prevent dirt and dust from settling on your things. All you need to do is cut the chip bags to form a rectangle and use them as cover.
You can even shred them and use them to brace your breakables. They will help you prevent cracks.
It is alright that you enjoy your chips, but at the same time, ensure you are not harming the environment. As much as possible, ensure you are disposing of them very well. We advise that you even use them creatively for other things. This way, you would be reducing the impact on the environment.