Tomorrow is 3 July, International Plastic Bag Free Day. So what can we do to avoid using them, tomorrow and every day?
We all need to get involved, each and every one of us, because we all go shopping and many times we aren’t aware of just how many plastic bags we are actually consuming. Maybe you’re only stopping to think about it now… But the good news is that there are alternatives that are much cleaner and more respectful of the planet.
Here are a few ideas to help you help the environment when you go shopping:
Never leave home without your foldable shopping bag! The cloth ones take up almost no space at all so why not throw one or two of them in your handbag. That way you’ll never be without. You never know when you might be making a last-minute purchase!
If you don’t have a bag on you and they offer you one at the shop, ask yourself if you really need it. You may be able to fit your purchase in your handbag, wallet or backpack, or even simply carry it in your hand. Don’t just take a bag, think about it!
Reuse the bags you have at home. No matter how hard we try to limit the number of plastic bags we consume, there are always more than a few lying around the house. Don’t just throw them out, reuse them next time you go shopping or to line the bin.
If you have to get rid of bags that are ripped or worn, always throw them out in the plastic recycling bin.
And why say “no” to plastic bags anyway?
Because they are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that is expensive and increasingly scarce and produces greenhouse gas emissions, therefore contributing to global warming.
Plastic bags take between 150 and 1,000 years to break down.
Recycling them is impractical since it costs 100 times more to recycle them than to produce new ones.
They are pollutant, both during their manufacture and incineration.
Some of the ink used in their printing is toxic.
The majority wind up in the seas and oceans, where marine life like turtles, dolphins and sperm whales eat them, thinking they are jellyfish or squid.
We can easily swap them out for cloth bags, which come in all shapes and colours!
To drive our point home, here’s a monologue that takes a humorous look at just how pointless plastic bags are. Make sure to watch!