Consideration Shoppers: Do You Genuinely Need That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved component of Canada’s purchasing tradition, but it shouldn’t be. Every single 12 months we use above 9 billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. Which is ,000 bags a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-fifteen billion plastic purchasing baggage every single year

To get a come to feel for just how a lot of luggage that truly is, image this: if we tied nine billion baggage with each other, they would circle the earth fifty five occasions (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every yr it is believed between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic baggage are utilised across the globe. Despite the fact that they were not widely used until finally the eighties, their effect has already been felt close to the globe.

A rapid stroll by way of your neighbourhood can usually reveal how pervasive plastic bags are when it comes to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have grow to be a depressing fixture in urban environmentally friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This kind of litter is not only unattractive it can also add to major environmental issues.

Large buildups of discarded plastic baggage can clog drainage techniques and lead to main floods. Such flooding caused widespread destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a outcome of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, more than eighty% of the Philippines’ capital was submerged. Hundreds have been killed and countless numbers far more have been left homeless when whole neighbourhoods were swept away.

Other aquatic chaos designed by plastic luggage has verified deadly to individuals who live in the drinking water as nicely.

Roughly a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every 12 months by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to loss of life, in accordance to World Ark, an international environmental team. A lifeless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have more than twenty plastic baggage in its belly.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study located that ninety three for every cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a sizeable improve from the previous time they had been analyzed, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so quickly, it is predicted to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a current report by the Planet Economic Discussion board.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Basis, “Couple of plastic bags are recycled. Most are utilised for a brief time to carry groceries, and then possibly re-used as rubbish bags or to wrap pet poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some folks argue that, because they make up about one particular for every cent of the volume of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t fret. But 1 for each cent of the huge amounts of what is actually in landfills is a lot, particularly considering that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are made from polyethylene and can just take hundreds of years to decompose.

But actions are becoming taken to decrease the environmental footprint of plastic bags. Use of plastic bags is both limited or completely banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage paid by buyers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been brought in to aid handle the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out a single-use purchasing bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In spot of these, customers will be presented discounted reusable baggage for twenty five cents. But plastic luggage will nonetheless be offered for 5 cents in an energy to decrease the quantity of one-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I frequent isn’t going to have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer single-use brown paper bags – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively created to keep the weight of groceries. My private choice is a box and many reusable luggage.

Even though my neighborhood is supposedly extremely environmentally-welcoming, I would have to say that, primarily based on my private observations, the majority of the grocery store customers still choose the single-use brown paper bag in excess of the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not confident why. Convenience, possibly?

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