Focus Customers: Do You Actually Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an accepted component of Canada’s searching tradition, but it shouldn’t be. Every single yr we use in excess of 9 billion plastic searching bags in Canada. Which is seventeen,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-15 billion plastic buying baggage every yr

To get a come to feel for just how a lot of baggage that really is, photo this: if we tied nine billion luggage jointly, they would circle the earth fifty five moments (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each and every 12 months it is approximated between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are utilised throughout the world. Though they weren’t broadly utilised until the eighties, their affect has already been felt about the globe.

A quick stroll by means of your neighbourhood can frequently 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 grow to be a depressing fixture in urban inexperienced areas like parks, schoolyards, and athletics fields. This kind of litter is not only unattractive it can also contribute to major environmental troubles.

Big buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage methods and contribute to major floods. Such flooding induced common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, far more than eighty% of the Philippines’ money was submerged. Hundreds had been killed and hundreds more have been still left homeless when complete neighbourhoods had been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic baggage has verified fatal to these who live in the water as well.

Approximately one hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every single calendar year by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or result in them to starve to demise, according to Earth Ark, an international environmental team. leather bags that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have much more than 20 plastic luggage in its stomach.

A 2012 College of British Columbia examine located that 93 for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a considerable increase from the very last time they were tested, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so swiftly, it really is expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a recent report by the Entire world Economic Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Few plastic luggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a short time to carry groceries, and then maybe re-employed as rubbish baggage or to wrap canine poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, since they make up about one per cent of the volume of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t fear. But one particular for every cent of the substantial quantities of what’s in landfills is a great deal, specially since plastic does not biodegrade.”

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

But methods are becoming taken to reduce the environmental footprint of plastic bags. Use of plastic bags is either limited or fully banned in more than a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags compensated by consumers – and new recycling regulations have also been introduced in to aid tackle the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out one-use shopping bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In spot of these, consumers will be presented discounted reusable bags for twenty five cents. But plastic baggage will nonetheless be offered for 5 cents in an hard work to reduce the number of one-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery store I repeated will not have plastic grocery luggage but they do supply solitary-use brown paper bags – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery baggage or a reusable cardboard box, specifically created to hold the fat of groceries. My personalized choice is a box and several reusable baggage.

Despite the fact that my group is supposedly really environmentally-welcoming, I would have to say that, primarily based on my personalized observations, the bulk of the grocery keep clients nevertheless select the single-use brown paper bag over the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not confident why. Ease, possibly?

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