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

“The plastic bag is an approved element of Canada’s searching tradition, but it should not be. Each calendar year we use over nine billion plastic buying baggage in Canada. That’s 17,000 baggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic shopping baggage each yr

To get a come to feel for just how numerous luggage that truly is, picture this: if we tied nine billion luggage with each other, they would circle the earth 55 times (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each year it really is believed between 500 billion and one trillion plastic luggage are employed throughout the world. Even though they weren’t widely utilised until the eighties, their effect has already been felt about the planet.

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

Massive buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage programs and contribute to main floods. These kinds 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, much more than 80% of the Philippines’ funds was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and thousands much more have been left homeless when entire neighbourhoods had been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic luggage has verified lethal to individuals who stay in the water as well.

Roughly a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every single yr by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or trigger them to starve to demise, in accordance to World Ark, an worldwide environmental group. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was found to have a lot more than 20 plastic bags in its abdomen.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study located that 93 for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) had bellies entire of plastic – a considerable improve from the last time they had been analyzed, in 1980.

In truth, plastic packaging is accumulating so speedily, it truly is expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a latest report by the World Economic Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Couple of plastic baggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a limited time to have groceries, and then possibly re-utilised as rubbish luggage or to wrap pet poop before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some folks argue that, due to the fact they make up about 1 for every cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we should not worry. But one particular for every cent of the substantial quantities of what is in landfills is a good deal, particularly given that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

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

But measures are being taken to reduce the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic baggage is both limited or totally banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s nations around the world.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage compensated by consumers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been introduced in to help deal with the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out a single-use purchasing baggage at Canadian Walmart merchants. In spot of these, customers will be provided discounted reusable luggage for twenty five cents. But plastic baggage will nonetheless be supplied for five cents in an energy to minimize the number of one-use bags they distribute.

In mark ryden backpack of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I regular doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer you solitary-use brown paper baggage – or, of program, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, specifically created to maintain the weight of groceries. My private choice is a box and several reusable baggage.

Though my neighborhood is supposedly extremely environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, primarily based on my individual observations, the bulk of the grocery keep buyers still decide on the one-use brown paper bag in excess of the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not confident why. Comfort, probably?


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