Focus Shoppers: Do You Really Want That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an accepted element of Canada’s searching society, but it should not be. Each and every calendar year we use more than 9 billion plastic searching bags in Canada. Which is 17,000 baggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-15 billion plastic shopping luggage each yr

To get a come to feel for just how several baggage that truly is, image this: if we tied nine billion baggage jointly, they would circle the earth fifty five times (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each year it really is believed between 500 billion and one trillion plastic luggage are used across the globe. Even though they were not commonly utilized until finally the eighties, their influence has already been felt close to the globe.

A swift stroll through your neighbourhood can usually expose how pervasive plastic luggage are when it will come to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic baggage have turn into a depressing fixture in urban inexperienced areas like parks, schoolyards, and sporting activities fields. These kinds of litter is not only unsightly it can also add to key environmental troubles.

Big buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage systems and lead to significant floods. This sort of flooding brought on common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. sport bag manufacturer Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a consequence of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, far more than 80% of the Philippines’ capital was submerged. Hundreds were killed and hundreds far more have been still left homeless when whole neighbourhoods ended up swept away.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic luggage has confirmed fatal to these who reside in the drinking water as nicely.

About a 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 dying, in accordance to Planet Ark, an intercontinental environmental group. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have far more than 20 plastic baggage in its belly.

A 2012 College of British Columbia examine discovered that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a considerable enhance from the final time they were examined, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so quickly, it’s envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a recent report by the World Financial Discussion board.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Basis, “Number of plastic luggage are recycled. Most are used for a short time to have groceries, and then probably re-utilized as rubbish baggage or to wrap dog poop prior to ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, simply because they make up about 1 for every cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we should not be concerned. But one particular per cent of the enormous amounts of what’s in landfills is a good deal, specially given that plastic does not biodegrade.”

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

But actions are getting taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic bags is both restricted or fully banned in more than a quarter of the world’s countries.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage compensated by shoppers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been introduced in to assist deal with the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out a single-use shopping bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In spot of these, customers will be supplied discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic baggage will nevertheless be provided for five cents in an work to reduce the variety of solitary-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery shop I repeated will not have plastic grocery luggage but they do supply solitary-use brown paper baggage – or, of course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, specifically designed to hold the excess weight of groceries. My personal choice is a box and a number of reusable baggage.

Though my community is supposedly extremely environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, based on my individual observations, the majority of the grocery retailer buyers nonetheless pick the solitary-use brown paper bag above the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not confident why. Comfort, possibly?

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