Consideration Shoppers: Do You Truly Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an recognized component of Canada’s purchasing culture, but it should not be. Every single yr we use in excess of nine billion plastic searching baggage in Canada. That is 17,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic searching bags each and every yr

To get a feel for just how a lot of luggage that in fact is, photo this: if we tied 9 billion bags jointly, they would circle the earth fifty five instances (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each and every year it’s believed between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are utilised throughout the globe. Despite the fact that they were not commonly utilized until the nineteen eighties, their affect has presently been felt about the planet.

A swift stroll through your neighbourhood can often expose how pervasive plastic bags are when it arrives to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have turn into a depressing fixture in urban green areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This sort of litter is not only unpleasant it can also lead to major environmental problems.

Large buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage programs and contribute to main floods. Such flooding brought on common destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, more than eighty% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and thousands far more ended up still left homeless when complete neighbourhoods have been swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos designed by plastic baggage has confirmed lethal to those who reside in the h2o as well.

About one hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every 12 months by plastic bags, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to demise, according to Planet Ark, an international environmental group. A dead gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have much more than 20 plastic luggage in its tummy.

A 2012 College of British Columbia examine found that 93 per cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds relevant to the albatross) had bellies complete of plastic – a significant boost from the final time they have been examined, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so swiftly, it’s anticipated to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a latest report by the Planet Financial Discussion board.


According to the David Suzuki Basis, “Handful of plastic baggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a short time to have groceries, and then possibly re-utilized as garbage bags or to wrap puppy poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, since they make up about 1 per cent of the volume of waste in landfills, we should not worry. But one particular for each cent of the huge quantities of what is actually in landfills is a good deal, specially considering that plastic will not biodegrade.”

Most plastic luggage are manufactured from polyethylene and can just take hundreds of years to decompose.

But measures are currently being taken to minimize the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic luggage is both limited or entirely banned in above a quarter of the world’s countries.

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

click here – taxes on plastic bags paid by consumers – and new recycling laws have also been introduced in to assist tackle the situation.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out one particular-use searching luggage at Canadian Walmart shops. In location of these, buyers will be provided discounted reusable luggage for 25 cents. But plastic baggage will even now be offered for 5 cents in an work to decrease the variety of single-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I recurrent will not have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer you one-use brown paper baggage – or, of program, you can use reusable grocery baggage or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively designed to maintain the bodyweight of groceries. My individual desire is a box and a number of reusable luggage.

Although my group is supposedly very environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, based on my personalized observations, the bulk of the grocery keep buyers nevertheless choose the solitary-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not positive why. Convenience, maybe?