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

“The plastic bag is an acknowledged portion of Canada’s searching culture, but it shouldn’t be. Each 12 months we use in excess of 9 billion plastic shopping baggage in Canada. That is seventeen,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-fifteen billion plastic buying bags each and every 12 months

To get a come to feel for just how numerous baggage that actually is, picture this: if we tied 9 billion luggage jointly, they would circle the earth 55 moments (Greener Footprints).

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Every single 12 months it truly is approximated between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are utilized throughout the globe. Even though they weren’t commonly utilised till the eighties, their effect has presently been felt all around the world.

A fast stroll by means of your neighbourhood can usually expose how pervasive plastic luggage are when it will come to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic baggage have grow to be a depressing fixture in urban eco-friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports activities fields. This kind of litter is not only unsightly it can also add to key environmental issues.

Huge buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage systems and add to key floods. This sort of flooding triggered common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a end result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than 80% of the Philippines’ money was submerged. Hundreds had been killed and thousands more have been left homeless when total neighbourhoods had been swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic baggage has confirmed lethal to individuals who reside in the water as effectively.

Around a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every calendar year by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to loss of life, according to Earth Ark, an international environmental group. A lifeless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was discovered to have far more than 20 plastic baggage in its tummy.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study identified that ninety three for every cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) experienced bellies entire of plastic – a sizeable increase from the previous time they have been examined, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so rapidly, it is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a modern report by the World Economic Forum.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Number of plastic baggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a brief time to carry groceries, and then probably re-employed as garbage bags or to wrap dog poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some folks argue that, because they make up about one for each cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t be concerned. But 1 per cent of the massive amounts of what is actually in landfills is a whole lot, specifically since plastic will not biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are manufactured from polyethylene and can get hundreds of years to decompose.

But methods are currently being taken to decrease the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic bags is either restricted or fully banned in more than a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags paid out by buyers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been brought in to support tackle the problem.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out one particular-use shopping baggage at Canadian Walmart retailers. In place of these, customers will be offered discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic bags will nevertheless be provided for five cents in an energy to decrease the quantity of solitary-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I regular does not have plastic grocery bags but they do offer you single-use brown paper luggage – or, of program, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively designed to maintain the weight of groceries. My personal preference is a box and numerous reusable luggage.

Although my local community is supposedly quite environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, based on my personal observations, the bulk of the grocery retailer buyers even now pick the single-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not positive why. Convenience, probably?

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