Focus Shoppers: Do You Actually Want That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged element of Canada’s buying society, but it should not be. womens leather overnight bag and every year we use more than nine billion plastic purchasing baggage in Canada. That is 17,000 baggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-15 billion plastic searching luggage each and every yr

To get a feel for just how numerous bags that in fact is, photo this: if we tied 9 billion bags collectively, they would circle the earth 55 moments (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each calendar year it really is estimated between five hundred billion and one trillion plastic luggage are used across the world. Although they weren’t commonly utilized till the eighties, their affect has previously been felt close to the globe.

A fast stroll through your neighbourhood can typically reveal how pervasive plastic baggage are when it arrives to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have become a depressing fixture in urban eco-friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This sort of litter is not only unsightly it can also lead to significant environmental troubles.

Big buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage methods and lead to main floods. This kind of flooding caused widespread destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a outcome of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, far more than 80% of the Philippines’ funds was submerged. Hundreds have been killed and thousands a lot more have been still left homeless when entire neighbourhoods ended up swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic luggage has confirmed fatal to those who stay in the h2o as effectively.

Around a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every year by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or result in them to starve to dying, according to Earth Ark, an global environmental team. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have far more than twenty plastic bags in its belly.

A 2012 University of British Columbia review located that ninety three for every cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) had bellies complete of plastic – a considerable improve from the final time they have been tested, in 1980.

In truth, plastic packaging is accumulating so rapidly, it truly is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a latest report by the Globe Financial Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Basis, “Couple of plastic bags are recycled. Most are used for a short time to carry groceries, and then perhaps re-utilised as rubbish baggage or to wrap dog poop prior to ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some people argue that, simply because they make up about a single for each cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we shouldn’t fret. But 1 for each cent of the enormous quantities of what is in landfills is a great deal, especially given that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic luggage are created from polyethylene and can just take hundreds of years to decompose.

But measures are being taken to minimize the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic baggage is both limited or entirely banned in more than a quarter of the world’s countries.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage paid out by consumers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been brought in to help address the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out 1-use buying baggage at Canadian Walmart merchants. In place of these, buyers will be supplied discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic luggage will nonetheless be provided for 5 cents in an work to minimize the quantity of solitary-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery shop I recurrent doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do supply one-use brown paper baggage – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery luggage or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively created to keep the excess weight of groceries. My personalized preference is a box and numerous reusable baggage.

Despite the fact that my local community is supposedly very environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, dependent on my individual observations, the bulk of the grocery keep customers nonetheless select the single-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not sure why. Usefulness, possibly?

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