Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strange Fruit: A Reason to Stop using Plastic Bags #4, #5 and #6

These trees should be called "Bag Ladies" because that are collecting all of our plastic bags.

Listed below is information from an organization called "Earth Resource Foundation",; they list why plastic bags are a problem plus a list of solutions:

The problem
Plastic bags are:
  • Made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource.
  • A serious litter problem since they are lightweight and hard to contain (blow around).
  • Non-biodegradable, breaking into smaller particles BUT never fully disappearing.
  • Mistaken for food by marine animals (particularly sea turtles).
  • One of the most numerous items of litter along with cigarette butts and Styrofoam.
  • A major part of waste in our landfills.
"I'm the problem, I'm the solution"
The solution
  • Bring your own cloth [or burlap (jute)] bag.
  • Ask for paper bag (holds 5 to 6 times more than a plastic bag).
  • Ask your merchant to promote cloth bags (charge for plastic or provide incentives for cloth).
  • Encourage development of bags made from natural products such as cornstarch and soy.
  • Write your elected officials regarding the hazards of plastic bags.
  • Participate in a community/beach cleanup.
It's a global thing!
Other countries are ahead of the United States in finding ways to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment!

Bangladesh: Polythene plastic bags have been banned completely - the government is promoting bags made of jute, a natural fiber.

Ireland: Individual consumers are required to pay a 15c tax per plastic bag - this has resulted in an estimated 90% reduction in plastic bag use in the first year.

The European Union: Member countries require manufacturers/producers of plastic bags and other plastic waste to take them back and recycle them.

Taiwan and South Africa:Both countries prohibit the thinner plastic bags - this encourages people to bring their own bags since retailers can't afford to provide the more expensive, thicker plastic bags for free.


1 comment:

  1. I'm really going to stop using plastic bags for now on. I never realized how harmful they were to the environment and marine animals. :-(


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