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Plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic packaging are bad for the environment - IELTS Band 9 Essay

Updated: Jun 27

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic packaging are bad for the environment.

What damage does plastic do to the environment?

What can be done by governments and individuals to solve this problem?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


Task 2  Band 9 Essay Sample Answer (Plastic Bags, Plastic Bottles and Plastic Packaging)

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Sample Essay 1

The pervasive use of plastic, from bags and bottles to packaging, presents a formidable challenge to environmental sustainability. This ubiquity is detrimental due to its non-biodegradable nature, leading to significant pollution and harm to marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This essay posits that mitigating plastic's environmental impact requires concerted efforts from both governments and individuals, focusing on enhanced recycling initiatives and fostering a cultural shift towards sustainable consumption.


Governments play a pivotal role in addressing the plastic crisis through policy and infrastructure. By instituting stringent regulations on plastic production and use, including bans on single-use plastics, authorities can significantly reduce plastic waste. For instance, Rwanda's ban on plastic bags has led to notable environmental improvements, underscoring the efficacy of such measures. Moreover, investing in recycling infrastructure and innovation can transform plastic waste management. Advanced recycling technologies not only reduce landfill reliance but also create a circular economy for plastics, minimizing the need for new production. Encouragingly, initiatives like Norway's plastic bottle recycling program, boasting over a 95% recycling rate, exemplify the potential of government-led solutions.


Individual actions are equally crucial in combating plastic pollution. Conscious consumer choices, such as opting for reusable alternatives to plastic bags, bottles, and packaging, can significantly curtail personal plastic footprint. Furthermore, participating in and promoting recycling can enhance the effectiveness of waste management systems. Public awareness campaigns and educational programs can amplify these efforts, fostering a culture of sustainability. Notably, grassroots movements and community-led beach clean-ups have demonstrated the power of collective action in environmental preservation.


In conclusion, the plastic pollution crisis necessitates a dual approach, with governments and individuals both playing essential roles. Through regulatory measures, investment in recycling infrastructure, and a shift towards sustainable consumption practices, the detrimental impacts of plastic on the environment can be significantly mitigated. It is through this synergistic effort that we can aspire to a cleaner, more sustainable future for our planet.


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Sample Essay 2

It is argued that the ecology is negatively impacted by plastic bottles, bags, and packaging. Both governmental and individual initiatives can stop additional devastation by banning the use of plastic, adopting renewable resources, and raising public awareness.


Plastics are not biodegradable, and they are made from crude oil which emits significant amounts of pollution. Specially, our sea creatures are becoming the worst victims because most of the people do not deign to dispose unwanted plastic goods properly. It affects all organisms in the food chain from tiny species like plankton to giant whales. The Natural Environment website estimates that approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they get strangled in plastic items. In addition, most of the plastic bags and bottles are thrown into rivers and oceans, causing a significant habitat catastrophe, and leading up to a severe extinction of sea animals.


However, governments can curb these hazardous activities by imposing strict environment law and promoting the environment friendly materials that can be easily recycled and used in place of plastics. As a deterrence, the government could impose extra tax on plastic items and compel people to pay higher for plastic products. Also, organising environmental awareness campaigns could be an effective approach to disseminate the essential information. People from individual level can also make some big impact in deterring plastics by cutting the use of unnecessary packages and shifting to try out scoop shops, loose leaf tea, homemade food cooked from raw materials etc.


To conclude, humans are responsible for environmental damage, impacting the metabolism and killing the marine species, regardless of their sizes. However, proper law enforcement, promotional campaigns to raise public awareness, and lifestyle changes at individual levels could be effective measures to address this issue.


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Sample Essay 3

All the plastic materials, such as bags, bottles and packaging, are harmful for the environments. Those materials cause the acute damage to ocean ecology and wildlife. These problems can be tackled by not only imposing the levy or tax refund from government agency but also the self-awareness from consumers.


First and foremost, plastic items have a detrimental impact on the ecology. In other words, because plastics cannot decompose, they pollute both the ocean ecosystem and the food chain of wild animals. For instance, plastic garbage that accumulates on top of coral reefs has a significant negative influence on the famed Great Barrier Reef, which is located on Australia's north-eastern coast. This expulsion of symbiotic algae from the reefs leads to perpetual bleaching. Another appalling example is the possibility of plastic garbage choking wild creatures. Animals can spread toxic wastes via food chains despite the fact that they do not perish from improper feeding.


However, the government can tackle these problems effectively through tax subsidies for using paper products, imposing extra levy on plastics or abolishing one-time use bags. As per policy in the U.K., for instance, the plastic factory would require paying carbon tax when they produce the plastic related products. In addition, the consumers should have self-consciousness on protecting the environment as their responsibilities. They can bring their own collapsible cups instead of purchasing bottles from supermarkets and adopt the reusable bags while doing grocery shopping. Therefore, the government agency can implement the policy and individuals can apply for the reuse products to reduce the plastic substances.


To sum up, plastics are likely to be detrimental to the nature environments like ocean and wildlife. The government and individuals can work together to implement multiple methods to reduce the use of the plastic products.



Sample Essay 4

There are a number of causes of pollution to our environment, for instance, using plenty of plastic materials such as plastic bags for grocery shopping, plastic cups from coffee shops and individual items packed with plastics. But certain measures could be taken to alleviate this problem.


There are several reasons why plastic harms our planet. The main one is that plastic sticks around in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins, since our plastic waste has invaded the highest mountains and deepest oceans. No one knows how long it will take to disappear, but it’s at least hundreds of years. In addition, almost all plastics are made from chemicals that come from the production of planet-warming fuels such as gas and oil. It means that our reliance on plastic prolongs our demand of these dirty fuels.


Various possible courses of action could be taken by both governments and people in order to tackle the above. In the first place, governments could provide people proper education about plastic recycling. By educating the general population about recycling symbols, for example, where to locate them on packages, which ones are recyclable will help people make better choices about the plastic they use. The easiest and most direct way that individuals can get started is by reducing use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-away containers and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. To avoid using these, people can purchase and carry with them reusable versions of those products, including bring own reusable bags for grocery shopping and coffee cups to a coffee shop.


In conclusion, various factors have led to problems related to damaging to the environment, but this situation could be addressed by offering free education of plastic recycling by governments and replacing single use plastics to reusable items by individuals. Given this situation, it is recommended that steps should be taken immediately in order to ensure that save our planet where we and the wildlife live on.


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