Attention Customers: Do You Really Need That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged element of Canada’s purchasing lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be. Each and every 12 months we use in excess of 9 billion plastic searching baggage in Canada. Which is 17,000 bags a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic shopping baggage each 12 months

To get a feel for just how numerous luggage that in fact is, picture this: if we tied 9 billion baggage collectively, they would circle the earth fifty five instances (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each calendar year it truly is estimated among 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic luggage are utilized throughout the globe. Even though they were not widely utilized until finally the nineteen eighties, their effect has currently been felt around the planet.

A swift stroll through your neighbourhood can usually reveal how pervasive plastic bags are when it arrives to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic baggage have turn into a depressing fixture in urban eco-friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This sort of litter is not only unsightly it can also add to key environmental issues.

Large buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage systems and contribute to major floods. These kinds of flooding brought on popular destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than 80% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds had been killed and thousands more ended up still left homeless when total neighbourhoods ended up swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos developed by plastic bags has verified fatal to people who dwell in the water as properly.

Around 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed each and every calendar year by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to death, according to Planet Ark, an worldwide environmental group. A lifeless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have a lot more than twenty plastic baggage in its stomach.

A 2012 College of British Columbia review discovered that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) experienced bellies entire of plastic – a substantial boost from the final time they had been analyzed, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so quickly, it really is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a recent report by the World Financial Forum.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Few plastic bags are recycled. midjev√§skor are utilised for a brief time to have groceries, and then possibly re-utilized as garbage luggage or to wrap canine poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some individuals argue that, simply because they make up about one for each cent of the quantity of squander in landfills, we should not worry. But one particular for each cent of the enormous amounts of what’s in landfills is a good deal, especially because plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic baggage are made from polyethylene and can take hundreds of a long time to decompose.

But steps are getting taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic bags is possibly limited or entirely banned in above a quarter of the world’s international locations.

China, Italy, Bangladesh, South Africa, and elements of Australia have banned plastic baggage outright, whilst municipal bans exist in components of India, Mexico, Britain, the U.S., and Canada.

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage paid out by shoppers – and new recycling regulations have also been introduced in to aid handle the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one particular-use shopping luggage at Canadian Walmart retailers. In spot of these, customers will be presented discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic bags will still be provided for 5 cents in an effort to lessen the number of single-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery shop I repeated will not have plastic grocery luggage but they do provide one-use brown paper bags – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, especially developed to hold the excess weight of groceries. My personalized desire is a box and a number of reusable luggage.

Despite the fact that my local community is supposedly quite environmentally-welcoming, I would have to say that, dependent on my personalized observations, the vast majority of the grocery shop clients nevertheless pick the single-use brown paper bag in excess of the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not certain why. Convenience, probably?

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