Attention Consumers: Do You Actually Need That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an recognized element of Canada’s purchasing society, but it shouldn’t be. Each year we use in excess of 9 billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. That is seventeen,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-15 billion plastic purchasing bags every year

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

Holy Dinah!

Every calendar year it is estimated among five hundred billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are utilized throughout the globe. Though they were not commonly utilized until finally the eighties, their affect has already been felt all around the world.

A quick stroll by way of your neighbourhood can usually reveal how pervasive plastic luggage are when it will come to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have become a depressing fixture in urban green areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This kind of litter is not only unpleasant it can also add to major environmental troubles.

Huge buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage programs and lead to main floods. This kind of flooding induced prevalent 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 eighty% of the Philippines’ capital was submerged. Hundreds were killed and countless numbers far more have been still left homeless when whole neighbourhoods had been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos developed by plastic bags has established fatal to those who dwell in the drinking water as effectively.

Roughly 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed each calendar year by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to death, in accordance to Planet Ark, an intercontinental environmental group. A lifeless gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was found to have far more than 20 plastic bags in its belly.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study discovered that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) had bellies total of plastic – a sizeable boost from the previous time they were analyzed, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so swiftly, it truly is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a recent report by the World Financial Discussion board.


According to the David Suzuki Basis, “Handful of plastic baggage are recycled. Most are employed for a brief time to have groceries, and then maybe re-employed as garbage baggage or to wrap dog poop prior to ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some people argue that, because they make up about one particular for each cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t fear. But 1 per cent of the enormous quantities of what is actually in landfills is a lot, especially since plastic does not biodegrade.”

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

But actions are becoming taken to decrease the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic bags is possibly 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 bags outright, although municipal bans exist in components of India, Mexico, Britain, the U.S., and Canada.

Cooler Bag Factory Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags paid by buyers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been introduced in to aid deal with the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one-use searching bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In area of these, consumers will be offered discounted reusable bags for 25 cents. But plastic bags will even now be supplied for 5 cents in an energy to decrease the variety of one-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery keep I frequent doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do supply one-use brown paper bags – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, particularly made to maintain the fat of groceries. My personal preference is a box and a number of reusable luggage.

Though my community is supposedly extremely environmentally-welcoming, I would have to say that, based mostly on my private observations, the bulk of the grocery retailer customers nonetheless decide on the solitary-use brown paper bag over the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not confident why. Comfort, probably?