Focus Consumers: Do You Genuinely Want That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an recognized component of Canada’s searching culture, but it shouldn’t be. Every year we use above 9 billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. That is 17,000 luggage a moment.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-15 billion plastic buying bags every 12 months

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

Holy Dinah!

Each 12 months it is estimated in between five hundred billion and 1 trillion plastic luggage are used across the world. Despite the fact that they were not broadly utilized until the nineteen eighties, their impact has presently been felt around the globe.

A swift stroll by way of your neighbourhood can frequently expose how pervasive plastic luggage are when it comes to the dilemma of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic luggage have turn into a depressing fixture in city environmentally friendly areas like parks, schoolyards, and sports fields. This kind of litter is not only unpleasant it can also add to main environmental concerns.

Massive buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage techniques and lead to main floods. Such flooding caused 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 eighty% of the Philippines’ capital was submerged. Hundreds have been killed and countless numbers more were left homeless when whole neighbourhoods had been swept away.

Other aquatic chaos developed by plastic baggage has verified lethal to people who dwell in the h2o as nicely.

Roughly a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed every year by plastic bags, which can strangle their victims or cause them to starve to demise, in accordance to World Ark, an global environmental group. A lifeless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was located to have much more than twenty plastic baggage in its stomach.

A 2012 University of British Columbia review located that 93 for every cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds connected to the albatross) had bellies entire of plastic – a substantial improve from the final time they were examined, in 1980.

In reality, plastic packaging is accumulating so rapidly, it really is expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, according to a modern report by the World Financial Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Number of plastic luggage are recycled. Most are utilized for a quick time to carry groceries, and then maybe re-utilized as rubbish luggage or to wrap puppy poop before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, because they make up about 1 for every cent of the volume of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t be concerned. But per cent of the enormous quantities of what’s in landfills is a whole lot, especially because plastic does not biodegrade.”

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

But methods are becoming taken to lessen the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic luggage is both limited or fully banned in in excess of a quarter of the world’s nations around the world.

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

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic luggage compensated by customers – and new recycling rules have also been introduced in to aid deal with the problem.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada commenced phasing out one particular-use shopping bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In spot of these, buyers will be offered discounted reusable bags for 25 cents. But plastic baggage will even now be supplied for 5 cents in an effort to lessen the quantity of solitary-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery keep I regular doesn’t have plastic grocery baggage but they do offer one-use brown paper luggage – or, of program, you can use reusable grocery luggage or a reusable cardboard box, specifically developed to keep the bodyweight of groceries. My individual desire is a box and numerous reusable bags.

Though my group is supposedly very environmentally-friendly, I would have to say that, primarily based on my personalized observations, the vast majority of the grocery keep customers nevertheless decide on the one-use brown paper bag over the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not confident why. Comfort, maybe?

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