Interest Customers: Do You Really Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged portion of Canada’s buying lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be. Each and every year we use more than nine billion plastic buying baggage in Canada. Which is 17,000 luggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

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

To get a really feel for just how a lot of luggage that in fact is, photograph this: if we tied nine billion luggage jointly, they would circle the earth fifty five times (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every single yr it is estimated between 500 billion and one trillion plastic luggage are used throughout the world. Even though they were not widely used till the eighties, their impact has already been felt all around the planet.

A swift stroll through your neighbourhood can typically reveal how pervasive plastic baggage are when it will come to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic baggage have turn out to be a depressing fixture in city eco-friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This sort of litter is not only ugly it can also contribute to significant environmental problems.

Huge buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage methods and contribute to main floods. Such flooding induced common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a consequence of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than 80% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds had been killed and hundreds far more ended up left homeless when whole neighbourhoods were swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic luggage has established lethal to people who dwell in the h2o as properly.

Approximately a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every 12 months by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or result in them to starve to dying, according to Planet Ark, an international environmental group. A lifeless gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have a lot more than twenty plastic luggage in its stomach.

A 2012 University of British Columbia research discovered that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) had bellies entire of plastic – a considerable increase from the very last time they were analyzed, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so swiftly, it is predicted to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a recent report by the Planet Economic Forum.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Basis, “Number of plastic baggage are recycled. coffee pouches are used for a short time to have groceries, and then perhaps re-utilised as rubbish bags or to wrap dog poop before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some individuals argue that, because they make up about 1 for every cent of the volume of squander in landfills, we should not be concerned. But 1 for every cent of the huge quantities of what is in landfills is a great deal, particularly given that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

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

But actions are becoming taken to reduce the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic luggage is either restricted or totally banned in over a quarter of the world’s countries.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage compensated by consumers – and new recycling rules have also been introduced in to assist deal with the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one-use buying baggage at Canadian Walmart shops. In location of these, consumers will be provided discounted reusable baggage for twenty five cents. But plastic bags will even now be provided for 5 cents in an work to minimize the amount of solitary-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery keep I frequent will not have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer single-use brown paper baggage – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery baggage or a reusable cardboard box, particularly made to keep the weight of groceries. My individual preference is a box and several reusable baggage.

Despite the fact that my community is supposedly extremely environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, primarily based on my personal observations, the bulk of the grocery shop consumers still choose the single-use brown paper bag in excess of the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not certain why. Comfort, perhaps?