Focus Customers: Do You Truly Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved part of Canada’s searching society, but it shouldn’t be. Every single yr we use more than 9 billion plastic searching luggage in Canada. Which is 17,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-15 billion plastic shopping baggage every calendar year

To get a truly feel for just how many luggage that truly is, photograph this: if we tied nine billion luggage with each other, they would circle the earth fifty five instances (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every single year it’s estimated between five hundred billion and 1 trillion plastic baggage are employed throughout the globe. Although they weren’t extensively employed right up until the nineteen eighties, their influence has currently been felt around the entire world.

A quick stroll by way of your neighbourhood can usually expose how pervasive plastic baggage are when it comes to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have turn out to be a depressing fixture in urban eco-friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sporting activities fields. This sort of litter is not only unsightly it can also contribute to significant environmental problems.

Large buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage systems and add to significant floods. plastic bags with logo of flooding induced widespread destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been susceptible to flooding as a outcome of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, more than eighty% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and countless numbers a lot more have been still left homeless when complete neighbourhoods have been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic luggage has proven lethal to these who reside in the h2o as nicely.

About 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every single 12 months by plastic luggage, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to loss of life, according to Planet Ark, an international environmental group. A lifeless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was found to have much more than 20 plastic baggage in its abdomen.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study discovered that 93 per cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a substantial improve from the final time they have been tested, in 1980.

In truth, plastic packaging is accumulating so speedily, it truly is anticipated to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a recent report by the World Economic Discussion board.


According to the David Suzuki Basis, “Few plastic baggage are recycled. Most are utilised for a quick time to carry groceries, and then maybe re-employed as garbage baggage or to wrap canine poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some individuals argue that, because they make up about one particular for every cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we should not be concerned. But a single for each cent of the substantial quantities of what is actually in landfills is a great deal, specially given that plastic does not biodegrade.”

Most plastic bags are manufactured from polyethylene and can just take hundreds of a long time to decompose.

But actions are getting taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic bags is both restricted or entirely banned in more than a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage paid by shoppers – and new recycling laws have also been introduced in to support handle the issue.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out one-use shopping baggage at Canadian Walmart stores. In area of these, customers will be presented discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic luggage will nonetheless be supplied for 5 cents in an hard work to minimize the amount of single-use luggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery shop I recurrent will not have plastic grocery bags but they do offer you one-use brown paper bags – or, of program, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, especially created to hold the weight of groceries. My individual preference is a box and a number of reusable baggage.

Though my community is supposedly very environmentally-friendly, I would have to say that, based on my private observations, the bulk of the grocery store consumers nonetheless pick the solitary-use brown paper bag above the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not positive why. Comfort, perhaps?