Interest Consumers: Do You Actually Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved component of Canada’s buying society, but it should not be. Each and every 12 months we use over nine billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. That’s seventeen,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic buying bags every year

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

Holy Dinah!

Each calendar year it’s believed between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are utilised across the globe. Although they weren’t widely utilized till the 1980s, their affect has presently been felt about the entire world.

A rapid stroll through your neighbourhood can typically expose how pervasive plastic baggage are when it will come to the difficulty of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have turn out to be a depressing fixture in city inexperienced spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This kind of litter is not only unsightly it can also lead to main environmental troubles.

Huge buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage programs and add to key floods. This sort of flooding caused prevalent destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. has also been susceptible to flooding as a outcome of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, far more than 80% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds were killed and 1000’s more ended up remaining homeless when whole neighbourhoods were swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic bags has proven deadly to these who stay in the drinking water as nicely.

Roughly a hundred,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 dying, according to Planet Ark, an global environmental team. A lifeless gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was found to have more than 20 plastic luggage in its abdomen.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study identified that 93 for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) had bellies full of plastic – a sizeable improve from the very last time they ended up examined, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so speedily, it is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a modern report by the Entire world Economic Discussion board.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Couple of plastic luggage are recycled. Most are used for a quick time to carry groceries, and then perhaps re-utilized as garbage luggage or to wrap pet poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some individuals argue that, because they make up about a single for every cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we shouldn’t be concerned. But one for each cent of the enormous amounts of what is in landfills is a good deal, specifically because plastic doesn’t biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are manufactured 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 luggage is possibly restricted or totally banned in over a quarter of the world’s nations around the world.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage paid by shoppers – and new recycling regulations have also been introduced in to support tackle the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out one particular-use shopping luggage at Canadian Walmart stores. In area of these, clients will be presented discounted reusable luggage for 25 cents. But plastic luggage will nevertheless be provided for 5 cents in an hard work to lessen the amount of single-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery store I frequent will not have plastic grocery luggage but they do provide solitary-use brown paper baggage – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery luggage or a reusable cardboard box, especially designed to keep the excess weight of groceries. My private preference is a box and many reusable baggage.

Even though my local community is supposedly very environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, based mostly on my individual observations, the vast majority of the grocery keep clients even now pick the one-use brown paper bag over the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not confident why. Ease, possibly?

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