Attention Buyers: Do You Genuinely Need That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged part of Canada’s buying tradition, but it should not be. Every year we use over 9 billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. That is seventeen,000 baggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic searching baggage each and every year

To get a truly feel for just how a lot of bags that truly is, photograph this: if we tied 9 billion luggage collectively, they would circle the earth fifty five moments (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every single yr it really is believed between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic baggage are used throughout the globe. Even though they were not widely utilized right up until the eighties, their affect has already been felt close to the globe.

A swift stroll via your neighbourhood can frequently expose how pervasive plastic baggage are when it arrives to the difficulty of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have turn into a depressing fixture in city eco-friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and athletics fields. Such litter is not only ugly it can also lead to major environmental problems.

Large buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage programs and lead to key floods. This sort of flooding triggered common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a end result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than eighty% of the Philippines’ funds was submerged. Hundreds were killed and 1000’s more had been left homeless when total neighbourhoods ended up swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos designed by plastic luggage has verified lethal to people who dwell in the drinking water as effectively.

About one hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every single year by plastic bags, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to loss of life, in accordance to Planet Ark, an worldwide environmental group. A dead gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have much more than twenty plastic luggage in its tummy.

A 2012 University of British Columbia examine found that 93 per cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a sizeable boost from the final time they were examined, in 1980.

In reality, plastic packaging is accumulating so rapidly, it’s expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a modern report by the Planet Economic Forum.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Basis, “Few plastic baggage are recycled. Most are utilised for a quick time to have groceries, and then maybe re-utilized as rubbish bags or to wrap canine poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some folks argue that, because they make up about a single per cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we shouldn’t fear. But one particular for each cent of the substantial amounts of what’s in landfills is a great deal, specifically given that plastic does not biodegrade.”

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

But measures are being taken to reduce the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic bags is possibly limited or entirely banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s international locations. , Italy, Bangladesh, South Africa, and parts of Australia have banned plastic luggage outright, even though municipal bans exist in parts of India, Mexico, Britain, the U.S., and Canada.

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage paid by customers – and new recycling rules have also been brought in to support tackle the issue.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one particular-use purchasing bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In place of these, clients will be offered discounted reusable bags for 25 cents. But plastic bags will nonetheless be offered for 5 cents in an energy to decrease the number of single-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery store I regular isn’t going to have plastic grocery luggage but they do provide solitary-use brown paper luggage – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery luggage or a reusable cardboard box, especially created to hold the weight of groceries. My individual preference is a box and a number of reusable baggage.

Although my group is supposedly very environmentally-welcoming, I would have to say that, dependent on my private observations, the bulk of the grocery store buyers nevertheless pick the single-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not certain why. Comfort, perhaps?


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