Focus Customers: Do You Really Require That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved element of Canada’s searching lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be. Each and every yr we use more than nine billion plastic searching luggage in Canada. That’s seventeen,000 baggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

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

To get a truly feel for just how a lot of baggage that in fact is, photo this: if we tied nine billion baggage collectively, they would circle the earth 55 instances (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Each and every 12 months it is estimated in between 500 billion and one trillion plastic luggage are utilised throughout the world. Despite the fact that they weren’t widely used till the eighties, their effect has presently been felt close to the globe.

A swift stroll through your neighbourhood can frequently expose how pervasive plastic bags 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 activities fields. This sort of litter is not only unsightly it can also lead to main environmental problems.

Big buildups of discarded plastic baggage can clog drainage systems and lead to main floods. These kinds of flooding brought on 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, more than 80% of the Philippines’ cash was submerged. Hundreds had been killed and countless numbers a lot more had been remaining homeless when complete neighbourhoods were swept absent.

more info developed by plastic baggage has established lethal to these who reside in the water as effectively.

Approximately one hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every yr by plastic bags, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to dying, according to Earth Ark, an worldwide environmental team. A dead gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have far more than 20 plastic baggage in its tummy.

A 2012 College of British Columbia examine discovered that ninety three per cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) experienced bellies total of plastic – a considerable boost from the final time they ended up examined, in 1980.

In simple fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so speedily, it truly is envisioned to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a current report by the Entire world Economic Discussion board.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Basis, “Handful of plastic bags are recycled. Most are utilized for a short time to have groceries, and then maybe re-utilized as rubbish bags or to wrap puppy poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some people argue that, because they make up about 1 per cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t worry. But one for each cent of the substantial quantities of what is in landfills is a great deal, especially considering that plastic doesn’t biodegrade.”

Most plastic baggage are produced from polyethylene and can take hundreds of several years to decompose.

But measures are getting taken to minimize the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic baggage is either limited or fully banned in above a quarter of the world’s nations around the world.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage paid by shoppers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been introduced in to help handle the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out a single-use purchasing baggage at Canadian Walmart stores. In spot of these, clients will be supplied discounted reusable bags for 25 cents. But plastic luggage will still be offered for 5 cents in an hard work to lessen the quantity of one-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I regular doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do provide single-use brown paper luggage – or, of training course, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, particularly developed to maintain the bodyweight of groceries. My personalized preference is a box and a number of reusable bags.

Even though my local community is supposedly extremely environmentally-friendly, I would have to say that, dependent on my personalized observations, the vast majority of the grocery retailer consumers nevertheless pick the solitary-use brown paper bag above the reusable bag and/or box. And I am not confident why. Convenience, maybe?