New Year does not always mean clean start. Unfortunately, some of the major environment issues tend to be carried from one year to another. Most often with higher negative impact on our Mother Earth. With this post I want to dive deeper into the plastic bag issue. I believe it is extremely important to constantly talk about the harmful effects plastic bag usage has on our world.
What do the statistics say?
*1 trillion plastic bags are being produced worldwide every year.
*1 plastic bag takes one thousand years to fully degrade.
Each year we produce higher and higher amounts of plastic bags. As a consequence each year higher amounts of plastic bags ends up in our environment. Today’s plastic bag was first found by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin in the early 1960s. Five years later his design obtained U.S patent. As a result of this, by the end of 1985, 75 % of supermarkets were offering plastic bags to their customers. Plastic bag usage quickly became a normality and necessity in our everyday lives.
Today most of us hardly can imagine a trip to food store without a plastic bag or should I say a few of them? Plastic bags are made from ethylene (byproduct of petroleum). Their durability equals zero. They are flimsy and easily breakable. No wonder cashiers tend to use more than once while packing your groceries. Plastic bag production costs close to nothing and so due to this every single retailer today hands you a plastic bag or two.
Scientific research published in Anthropocene journal claims that today ‘no part of the planet is plastic free‘. Much of this plastic is bags or residues of them. This statement to me shows how far our daily habits and let’s say egoistic convenience travel. Our environment has become fully polluted and we have only ourselves to blame. ‘Plastic is not biodegradable, therefore it always exists, crowding our landfills and polluting our oceans’.
The easiest and very effective thing- stop using plastic bags. It is really not that difficult. Carrier bags can easily be changed to long lasting canvas bags. Smaller groceries bags can be replaced with durable mesh (bulk) bags, where you would store loose unpacked fruits and vegetables as well as bread / pastries.
To help you out i put some pretty examples of what you could invest in. These items do not cost much, but their value will be priceless. I also like to support independent / tiny business so most of these suggestions are from etsy.
429,000 plastic bags are being dumped every hour. Let’s make the connection that our daily habits matter big time. Make this year less wasteful and refuse plastic bags. I do really hope this post brings even just a little bit of awareness. If you have stopped using plastic bags already, maybe you have family members or friends who do need a little push to do the same. Guide them to the beautiful and very important changes.
A travel & environmental blog for the adventurous soul.
Aiming to share my globe-trotting life and inspire you to explore this beautiful world with a little bit more compassion…