Focus Customers: Do You Really Want That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged element of Canada’s buying culture, but it shouldn’t be. Each yr we use over nine billion plastic searching bags in Canada. Which is seventeen,000 baggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-15 billion plastic buying bags every year

To get a really feel for just how many baggage that actually is, image this: if we tied 9 billion bags with each other, they would circle the earth fifty five occasions (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each and every year it really is approximated between five hundred billion and one trillion plastic luggage are used across the world. Though they weren’t broadly employed till the 1980s, their effect has already been felt all around the globe.

A quick stroll via your neighbourhood can usually expose how pervasive plastic baggage are when it comes to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have grow to be a depressing fixture in city environmentally friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports activities fields. Such litter is not only unsightly it can also lead to significant environmental issues.

Massive buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage systems and contribute to major floods. These kinds of flooding induced popular destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a consequence of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, much more than 80% of the Philippines’ money was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and hundreds much more were left homeless when whole neighbourhoods had been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic bags has established lethal to these who live in the water as nicely.

Approximately a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every calendar year by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to dying, in accordance to Planet Ark, an global environmental group. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have more than 20 plastic luggage in its belly.

A 2012 University of British Columbia examine identified that ninety three per cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) had bellies full of plastic – a sizeable boost from the very last time they were examined, in 1980.

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


In to the David Suzuki Basis, “Few plastic luggage are recycled. Most are utilised for a short time to carry groceries, and then perhaps re-utilised as rubbish baggage or to wrap pet poop before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, because they make up about 1 per cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t fret. But a single for every cent of the enormous amounts of what’s in landfills is a lot, particularly because plastic will not biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are produced from polyethylene and can get hundreds of years to decompose.

But measures are getting taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic bags. Use of plastic luggage is possibly restricted or totally banned in above a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags paid out by buyers – and new recycling rules have also been introduced in to assist handle the issue.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one-use purchasing bags at Canadian Walmart shops. In spot of these, consumers will be offered discounted reusable luggage for twenty five cents. But plastic bags will nonetheless be provided for 5 cents in an energy to lessen the amount of one-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery shop I regular will not have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer you one-use brown paper bags – or, of course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively created to keep the fat of groceries. My personal desire is a box and numerous reusable bags.

Even though my neighborhood is supposedly extremely environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, primarily based on my personalized observations, the vast majority of the grocery shop buyers nonetheless select the one-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not positive why. Usefulness, possibly?

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