IELTS Writing Task 2/ Essay Topics with sample answer.

IELTS Essay # 1238 - Plastic bags, bottles and packaging are bad for the environment

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

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 or experience.

Write at least 250 words. 

Model Answer 1: [Band 8 sample answer]
It is irrefutable that plastic harms the environment to a great extent. Plastic pollutes lands and water, degrades the fertility of the soil, and harms animals disrupting the entire ecosystem. Recycling plastic and limiting its use while also introducing biodegradable alternatives to plastics are by far the most effective solutions to this problem.

The environmental damages caused by plastic are severe and often extreme. Plastic bags, bottles, packages, toys and many other materials made of plastic remain in land and water for hundreds of years as they are not biodegradable. Plastic materials, that get mixed with soil, impair the breathability of soil and hamper the water flow in it. Thus it hurts the fertility of the land. Moreover, plastic that reaches the water bodies harms aquatic animals and coral reefs. Plastic pollution plays a considerable part in animal deaths. Today, plastic particles could be found in fishes, birds and other animals, and it disrupts the entire ecosystem.

However, the authorities concerned and mass people can turn the tide and mend the damage done to the environment to a great extent. For that, they have to ensure that they both play their part efficiently. First, people have to spontaneously take part in the plastic recycling process by putting plastic waste in a separate recycle bin. The authority has to make sure that all recyclable plastics are properly recycled and reused. To limit the use of plastic bags, people need to use bags made of biodegradable materials like jute fibre. They can start carrying their own glass-made bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles. Reduction in consumption of plastic-made materials could contribute to a large extent in limiting the harms caused by plastic. Finally, the government can limit the use of plastic bags and bottles by imposing a hefty tax on such items.

In conclusion, plastic is severely detrimental to the environment and ecosystem. So for our own benefit, we all need to use as less plastic as possible while also recycling the used plastic.

Model Answer 2:
Plastic products are affordable, versatile and durable, but they are a threat to our environment. They pollute soil and water, endanger animals and act as a breeding ground for deadly insects. The authority and general people can take numerous measures to curb the problem and its magnitude.

Plastics can severely harm our environment. The littering of plastics creates a rather unhygienic condition here and there. These unsanitary conditions then become the breeding ground for harmful insects and mosquitoes, causing diseases like malaria and dengue. According to United Nations Environmental Programme, we produce nearly 400 million tons of plastic waste each year. Such a large volume of plastic waste can harm our environment to a large extent, especially, when these plastic products take from decades to centuries to decompose. They seriously degrade soil fertility or quality, meaning plants or trees can not grow well on those soils. Moreover, plastic items can seriously pollute water bodies too, by changing their original chemical property, since they easily can find their way into the rivers and oceans. And when that happens, it poses a grave threat to fish and other marine lives. There have been instances where some large endangered species of tortoises were found to be suffocating because of mistakenly swallowing plastic bags that were attached to seaweed.

To limit these environmental damages, governments and individuals, around the world, can take some effective initiatives. People can recycle some of the plastic products they use, and reduce their reliance on plastics. For instance, many people use glass-made bottles to carry water rather than using one-time-use plastic water bottles. But it definitely should be the governments that need to do the heavy lifting, in this case, to protect our environment from plastic waste by enacting different kinds of rules and regulations wherever deem appropriate and also continually running awareness programmes. For example, South Africa has restricted the manufacture and usage of plastic bags by enacting parliamentary legislation. Besides, governments can also offer tax incentives for those individuals or companies who do not use plastic products.

In conclusion, plastic is an imminent threat to our world, and if we - both the government and individuals - work hand in hand, then the chances are one day, we would be able to see a world where plastic is not a problem anymore.

Sample Answer 3:
Plastic is used extensively because it is cheap and convenient, but it has severe environmental impacts. Plastic is not biodegradable, and the damage caused to the environment, especially to farmlands, oceans and marine life due to our love for plastic, is profound and should be stopped immediately. In this essay, I will outline the harms plastic causes to the environment and explore what could be done by governments and individuals to solve this problem.

The damages that plastic causes to the mother planet are significant and irreversible. Plastic bags, cutleries, bottles, and packaging are not biodegradable, and they take thousands of years to decompose. This means that once we discard plastic-made goods, they will remain in the environment for an extensive amount of time. It severely degrades the fertility of farming lands all around the world. Moreover, plastic that finds its way into the body of water or oceans can be particularly harmful, as it can entangle and suffocate animals living there. Plastic, that reaches the water, can also be ingested by animals and fishes there, causing injury or death to these species. According to the Natural Environment data, approximately a hundred thousand sea turtles and other marine animals die each year because they get entangled in plastic items.

To solve the problems caused by plastics, authorities and individuals need to take immediate action. First, governments, all around the world, can impose strict environmental laws, such as banning the use of plastic bags and promoting the use of biodegradable and renewable resources without delay. They can also impose hefty taxes on plastic products to discourage their use and manufacturing. Additionally, governments can organize numerous environmental awareness campaigns and programmes to educate the general public about the dangers of plastic and the benefits of using biodegradable and renewable alternatives.

The general public can also make a difference by reducing their use of plastic bags, bottles, and packaging which will have a huge positive impact in curbing the detrimental effects of plastics. They can do this by using reusable bags made of jute or clothes, glass bottles and containers, and by choosing to use products that have almost no packaging requirements. Additionally, mass people can support businesses that use sustainable packaging, which can help keep millions of tons of plastic materials out of landfills every year.

In conclusion, without a doubt, plastic is bad for the environment as it causes significant damage to our mother planet. We need to act now to stop the spread of plastic towards making a world free of plastic contamination and help the planet, especially ocean, retain its biodiversity. 

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It is irrefutable that plastic affects the environment to a great extent. Plastic bags, bottles and packing degrade soil fertility, deteriorate marine life and pollute land and water. Recycling polymers and preferring biodegradable substances as an alternative to bio-degradable products can play an imperative role to mitigate their detrimental effect on the environment.

The environmental damage caused by plastic is severe. The bottles, bags and other plastic-made materials remain in the soil for years due to their non-decomposable nature. After poly substances get mixed with soil, it weakens the breathability of soil and inhibits water flow, which ultimately lessens soil fertility. Moreover, polymerized substances affect marine life adversely and play a considerable role in aquatic animals' death. Furthermore, chemical gases such as methane, carbon and mercury released during the burning of plastic have a great contribution to environmental pollution and ozone layer depletion. Even breathing in this air can cause serious respiratory and skin problems.

However, if authorities and people show concern and participate actively, we can cover the damage made to the environment by turning the tide. Government should promote environment-friendly alternatives to plastic such as paper and reusable items. Additionally, strict laws should be implemented against the use of non-biodegradable substances. Instead of buying plastic bottles, people should carry their own glass-made bottles. Last but not least, the use of polymerized products can be limited by imposing a hefty tax.

To conclude, plastic has a detrimental impact on the environment, which should be tackled as early as possible. So, we all need to opt for reusable as well as recyclable products.

I'm a Cambridge ESOL and IELTS examiner of 16 years experience. Please never begin a conclusion in your essay with "In conclusion" because you're never going to get over a 7 with such a simple structure. Instead, try to summarise your main body paragraphs with the structure:

While it is true that (summary paragraph 1), it is clear (summary paragraph 2). Thus (final personal opinion).

Nguyen Thi Hanh
Excuse me, teacher;
Is it acceptable if I answer like this?

In conclusion, it is undeniable that plastic has a detrimental effect on both residents and the ecosystem. However, I endorse that this would be well-addressed if both the government and individuals worked in tandem to implement the proposed methods.

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Ranjan Somasinghe Balasuriya Arachchige
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IELTS Writing Task 2 (Essay Topic)

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?

Sample Essay:
Undeniably, plastic is one of the most dangerous objects for the environment as it is nonbiodegradabl e. Plastic bags, bottles, and packaging are a bane for our surroundings, all living beings, and especially aquatic animals. In this essay, I will explain the detrimental effects plastic has on the environment, and the steps that can be taken by the government and people to mitigate the issue.

The deleterious impacts plastics can have on our environment, and flora and fauna are uncountable. First of all, due to being nonbiodegradabl e, it is being piled up in landfills. Once the landfill is overflowing, the cities have to burn or transport the garbage from one place to other, thus polluting the environment and causing an extra burden on the economy and authority. In addition, many marine animals are found dead, either due to plastic bags in their stomach or plastic bottles being stuck on their mouth. It disrupts the ecosystem.

In order to save the environment, the government has to take concrete steps. Firstly, as a recyclable alternative to plastic bags has already been introduced, it will be wise to ban plastic bags. Secondly, the sale of plastic bottles should be restricted, and the use of reusable utensils should be promoted as much as possible.

However, the government policies without the support of the people may not help much. Hence individuals should consciously make efforts to choose recyclable packaging. If the use of plastic bottles can not be fully stopped, everyone should at least ensure to throw them in designated bins. We can save many aquatic animals with this simple approach.

All in all, even though plastic packaging, bottles, and bags have numerous negative impacts on the environment, with some extra efforts from people and the ruling authorities, the earth can be saved from this evil.