Consideration Shoppers: Do You Truly Require That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved element of Canada’s shopping lifestyle, but it should not be. Each and every yr we use above nine billion plastic purchasing baggage in Canada. Which is 17,000 luggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-fifteen billion plastic searching luggage every single year

To get a truly feel for just how a lot of bags that actually is, picture this: if we tied 9 billion bags with each other, they would circle the earth 55 times (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each calendar year it’s believed amongst 500 billion and one trillion plastic bags are utilised across the world. Even though they were not commonly utilized until finally the 1980s, their impact has previously been felt about the globe.

A rapid stroll by means of your neighbourhood can typically expose how pervasive plastic luggage are when it will come to the issue of litter. Hanging from leather handbags australia or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have turn into a depressing fixture in urban inexperienced areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. Such litter is not only unpleasant it can also lead to significant environmental troubles.

Massive buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage programs and lead to major floods. Such flooding brought on 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 eighty% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds were killed and countless numbers more have been remaining homeless when entire neighbourhoods ended up swept away.

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

Approximately a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed each calendar year by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to loss of life, in accordance to World Ark, an intercontinental environmental group. A dead gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have far more than twenty plastic luggage in its tummy.

A 2012 University of British Columbia research discovered that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a substantial improve from the previous time they had been analyzed, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so quickly, it is anticipated to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a modern report by the Planet Financial Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Number of plastic bags are recycled. Most are employed for a short time to have groceries, and then perhaps re-utilized as rubbish baggage or to wrap dog poop just before 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 quantity of squander in landfills, we shouldn’t worry. But 1 per cent of the substantial quantities of what is actually in landfills is a whole lot, specifically given that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic baggage are manufactured from polyethylene and can consider hundreds of a long time to decompose.

But measures are being taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic baggage is possibly limited or completely banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s international locations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags paid out by consumers – and new recycling regulations have also been introduced in to assist handle the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out 1-use buying bags at Canadian Walmart shops. In location of these, buyers will be supplied discounted reusable baggage for twenty five cents. But plastic bags will nonetheless be provided for 5 cents in an hard work to decrease the amount of solitary-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I regular isn’t going to have plastic grocery bags but they do supply one-use brown paper luggage – or, of course, you can use reusable grocery baggage or a reusable cardboard box, particularly developed to maintain the fat of groceries. My individual desire is a box and many reusable luggage.

Although my group is supposedly really environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, primarily based on my personal observations, the vast majority of the grocery retailer clients still pick the one-use brown paper bag above the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not sure why. Convenience, probably?