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Plastic shopping bags are made from petrochemicals which are not renewable.
When disposed of improperly, they are unsightly and endanger many forms of wildlife.
Plastic bags, conventional or "compostable", do not readily biodegrade in a sanitary landfill as paper and other materials don't either.
Plastic bags (particularly thin dry cleaning bags) can cause unsupervised infants to suffocate when not handled properly.
According to the UK government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, there are several problems with plastic recycling, and in particular plastic bags:
the high volume to weight ratio of plastic means that the collection and transport of this waste is difficult and expensive in England