Focus Buyers: Do You Actually Require That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an recognized component of Canada’s shopping culture, but it should not be. Each yr we use above nine billion plastic buying luggage in Canada. more info .”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic buying baggage every single calendar year

To get a feel for just how several baggage that truly is, picture this: if we tied 9 billion luggage together, they would circle the earth fifty five moments (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every calendar year it is believed amongst 500 billion and one trillion plastic luggage are utilised throughout the globe. Even though they were not extensively utilized right up until the nineteen eighties, their impact has presently been felt about the entire world.

A fast stroll by way of your neighbourhood can typically expose how pervasive plastic luggage are when it comes to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic baggage have grow to be a depressing fixture in urban environmentally friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and athletics fields. These kinds of litter is not only unattractive it can also contribute to significant environmental problems.

Big buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage systems and lead to key floods. This kind of flooding induced widespread destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than 80% of the Philippines’ funds was submerged. Hundreds have been killed and 1000’s a lot more were still left homeless when complete neighbourhoods ended up swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos developed by plastic bags has proven deadly to those who reside in the drinking water as well.

Roughly one hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed each and every 12 months by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or trigger them to starve to loss of life, in accordance to World Ark, an worldwide environmental team. 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 College of British Columbia examine discovered that 93 for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) experienced bellies entire of plastic – a sizeable increase from the previous time they were examined, in 1980.

In reality, plastic packaging is accumulating so quickly, it really is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a current report by the Globe Financial Forum.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Few plastic luggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a quick time to have groceries, and then probably re-used as garbage luggage or to wrap dog poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some individuals argue that, since they make up about one particular for every cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we shouldn’t be concerned. But a single for every cent of the massive amounts of what is actually in landfills is a great deal, specifically considering that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are made from polyethylene and can consider hundreds of many years to decompose.

But actions are becoming taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic luggage is possibly limited or fully banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s international locations.

China, Italy, Bangladesh, South Africa, and parts of Australia have banned plastic luggage outright, whilst 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 regulations have also been brought in to aid deal with the problem.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out a single-use shopping baggage at Canadian Walmart retailers. In place of these, consumers will be offered discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic baggage will still be supplied for five cents in an work to lessen the amount of single-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I frequent doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do provide single-use brown paper bags – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, specifically created to maintain the bodyweight of groceries. My individual desire is a box and many reusable bags.

Despite the fact that my local community is supposedly quite environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, based on my personal observations, the greater part of the grocery store customers still pick the solitary-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not confident why. Comfort, perhaps?