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", http://www.earthresource.org/; they list why plastic bags are a problem plus a list of solutions:
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.