Focus Buyers: Do You Truly Require That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved portion of Canada’s shopping tradition, but it should not be. Each calendar year we use above 9 billion plastic shopping luggage in Canada. That’s 17,000 baggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use nine-fifteen billion plastic searching luggage each and every 12 months

To get a come to feel for just how many baggage that actually is, photo this: if we tied nine billion baggage collectively, they would circle the earth fifty five occasions (Greener Footprints).

Holy Dinah!

Every calendar year it is approximated among 500 billion and one trillion plastic bags are utilized throughout the world. Though they were not widely employed right up until the eighties, their affect has presently been felt around the planet.

A fast stroll through your neighbourhood can often reveal how pervasive plastic bags are when it will come to the problem of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have turn out to be a depressing fixture in urban eco-friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sports activities fields. This kind of litter is not only unattractive it can also lead to main environmental problems.

Large buildups of discarded plastic bags can clog drainage techniques and contribute to key floods. This kind of 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, a lot more than 80% of the Philippines’ money was submerged. Hundreds have been killed and hundreds more were left homeless when complete neighbourhoods had been swept absent.

Other aquatic chaos created by plastic baggage has established fatal to individuals who reside in the h2o as well.

Approximately 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed each yr by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or trigger them to starve to loss of life, according to World Ark, an international environmental group. A useless grey whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was identified to have a lot more than twenty plastic bags in its stomach.

A 2012 College of British Columbia research located that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) had bellies total of plastic – a considerable increase from the previous time they were examined, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so rapidly, it really is expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a modern report by the Entire world Financial Forum.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Couple of plastic bags are recycled. Most are utilized for a brief time to have groceries, and then probably re-employed as rubbish bags or to wrap pet poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, since they make up about one per cent of the quantity of waste in landfills, we shouldn’t fear. But one for every cent of the massive quantities of what’s in landfills is a lot, specifically given that plastic isn’t going to biodegrade.”

Most plastic luggage are made from polyethylene and can get hundreds of years to decompose.

But actions are getting taken to decrease the environmental footprint of plastic baggage. Use of plastic baggage is both limited or totally banned in above 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 bags paid out by shoppers – and new recycling regulations have also been brought in to assist tackle the problem.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one particular-use buying bags at Canadian Walmart retailers. In area of these, consumers will be offered discounted reusable baggage for twenty five cents. But plastic luggage will nevertheless be presented for five cents in an effort to lessen the quantity of single-use bags they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery keep I recurrent does not have plastic grocery bags but they do supply one-use brown paper bags – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery bags or a reusable cardboard box, particularly developed to keep the bodyweight of groceries. Flozzo personalized desire is a box and numerous reusable luggage.

Even though my neighborhood is supposedly really environmentally-helpful, I would have to say that, primarily based on my private observations, the vast majority of the grocery retailer buyers nevertheless pick the one-use brown paper bag more than the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not certain why. Convenience, maybe?