Interest Shoppers: Do You Actually Want That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an recognized part of Canada’s purchasing tradition, but it shouldn’t be. Every single 12 months we use above nine billion plastic searching luggage in Canada. That is 17,000 luggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-fifteen billion plastic searching luggage every year

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

Holy Dinah!

Every single year it’s believed amongst 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic baggage are used throughout the globe. Though they weren’t commonly utilized till the eighties, their influence has previously been felt all around the world.

A rapid stroll by way of your neighbourhood can frequently reveal how pervasive plastic luggage are when it will come to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have become a depressing fixture in urban inexperienced areas like parks, schoolyards, and athletics fields. This sort of litter is not only unsightly it can also contribute to main environmental problems.

Huge buildups of discarded plastic luggage can clog drainage systems and lead to main floods. This kind of flooding triggered widespread 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 eighty% of the Philippines’ money was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and thousands far more have been left homeless when entire neighbourhoods ended up swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic baggage has verified deadly to those who live in the h2o as effectively.

Approximately a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every single year by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or lead to them to starve to loss of life, in accordance to Earth Ark, an worldwide environmental team. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was discovered to have far more than 20 plastic bags in its stomach.

A 2012 College of British Columbia research found that 93 for every cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) experienced bellies full of plastic – a substantial enhance from the final time they were tested, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so speedily, it is predicted to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a modern report by the World Economic Discussion board.


In accordance to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Handful of plastic bags are recycled. Most are utilized for a short time to have groceries, and then perhaps re-employed as garbage bags or to wrap pet poop ahead of ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some folks argue that, since they make up about a single for every cent of the quantity of squander in landfills, we should not fret. But 1 for each cent of the substantial quantities of what is actually in landfills is a good deal, specifically because plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

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

But actions are being taken to reduce the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic luggage is possibly limited or totally banned in over a quarter of the world’s nations.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic bags paid by customers – and new recycling legal guidelines have also been brought in to assist handle the concern.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out a single-use shopping luggage at Canadian Walmart stores. In location of these, consumers will be supplied discounted reusable luggage for 25 cents. But plastic luggage will even now be provided for five cents in an effort to minimize the variety of solitary-use baggage they distribute.

In leather wallet womens of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery retailer I recurrent isn’t going to have plastic grocery luggage but they do provide solitary-use brown paper bags – or, of course, you can use reusable grocery baggage or a reusable cardboard box, exclusively created to hold the weight of groceries. My individual choice is a box and numerous reusable bags.

Even though my local community is supposedly extremely environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, based mostly on my individual observations, the vast majority of the grocery keep clients nonetheless select the solitary-use brown paper bag over the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not confident why. Ease, probably?