By Katie O’ConnorCNN| September 14, 2019 03:45:59When it comes to disposing of your garbage, a plastic bag is the most popular choice.
But a new study says there are many different kinds of plastic bags available.
“The main issue with plastic bags is that they can be reused,” says Dr. Richard Deacon, a pediatric endocrinologist and director of the Endocrine Program at Children’s Hospital Boston.
“They can be used in a landfill or they can go into a landfill and be reused again.
And that’s where they can potentially contribute to obesity and other diseases.”
According to the American Beverage Association, plastic bags account for about 20 percent of all plastic products, and that number is growing.
“It is estimated that over 10 million tons of plastic are being discarded each year,” said John Kowalski, the president and CEO of the American Bottled Water Association.
“That is the equivalent of one ton of plastic in our ocean every day.”
Dr. Deacon says many plastic bags are recycled from plastic bottles, but the problem with that is that it is not always possible to get rid of them.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me if there’s a better way to dispose of plastic bottles because it seems that there is,” said Deacon.
“So I’ve decided to take a closer look and come up with my own way to make disposing plastic bottles a lot easier.”
Deacon says plastic bags contain about 30 percent less material than other types of plastic.
“Most of these bags, there’s no way to get out and find the bottom of the bag.
It’s really hard to tell the difference between the plastic and the cotton that’s on top,” he said.
“And even though there’s less material, the plastic is still a plastic.”
Deacons’ plastic bags will be the basis of a new reusable bag.
“My hope is that in the future, we’ll be able to reuse plastic bags in the landfill and that we can just toss it in the trash,” he says.
“The problem is, I’ve never seen a garbage disposal company really make a commitment to that.”
But Dr. Deacons hope to change that.
“We can make a reusable bag that actually looks and feels better, which is really important,” he explained.
“It’s like, I’m going to take this old bag and I’m just going to reuse it.
It has a much better look.”
To help make that happen, Dr. Kowalaski is looking for a new way to recycle plastic bags.
“If I have a bunch of plastic waste, and it has a plastic zipper, and I don’t want to waste that plastic, then I want to make it look like it was put into the recycling bin,” he told ABC News.
“So instead of trying to do it all by hand, we’re going to just make it by machine,” he added.
“And we’re also going to do that by creating an online community of people who will help us create an online system to buy plastic bags and reuse them.”
Dr Deacon said the new plastic bag that he’s creating is a one-off product.
“But it will eventually be a mass production, and we’re not just going for a year or a year and a half,” he admitted.
“This is not a toy, this is not just a toy to us.
It could be a toy for kids in the classroom.”
Follow CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter See the full study on the American Chemical Society website.