IELTS Task 2 Sample Answer 41 - In many countries, plastic containers have become more common than ever and are used by many food and drink companies. Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Development of plastic is one of the revolutionary achievements of mankind. Today, it has become an inevitable part of human life and is the most commonly used material for packing by food and beverage industry in many parts of the world. Even though it is a highly versatile material, I believe the demerits of plastic usage overshadows its relative merits.

To begin with, plastic is a major contributing factor of environmental degradation. Unlike some materials, plastic is not biodegradable and  therefore its discardment is a challenging task. Plastic when burnt can produce toxic fumes and on the other hand if they are thrown  into open grounds , it takes hundreds of years to breakdown. This would not only degrade the environment in the form of various pollutions, but is also a dominant  threat for many living organisms as there are chances of it being consumed leading to the death of many animals and birds. A recent survey underlined plastic ingestion as a major cause of death due to toxicity in porpoises.

Besides, many studies have revealed that consumption of food stored in plastic containers is hazardous to human health. This is because some of the industries use low quality plastic containers to store the food items and may also store it inappropriately under unfavorable conditions. As a result the consumables stored inside may get contaminated with toxins and consumption of the same leads to many health issues and can even cause cancer. This is the main reason why many scientists discourage the use of plastic for food storage.

However, plastic is the only material which can be manufactured at low cost but at the same time offers high durability and versatility making it the most preferred material for packing in industries today in comparison to the other alternatives available.

To conclude, being the most preferred material in the industrial world today, plastic can been seen in every walk of life. Regardless of the benefits it offers, I strongly believe its usage should be minimized because of the risk it poses to the environment and human life.