Environment impact of plastic shopping bags

Tuesday, August 10, 2010





Environment impact of plastic shopping bags
•The raw material of plastic bags is oil. Therefore, the more we
use plastic bags, the more we waste oil - a non-renewable
energy source.
•Reuse your plastic shopping bags: use them as trash so as not to
buy others that are more energy wasting; use them for storage
•Use paper bags rather than plastic bags when you are given the
choice
•Use reusable grocery bags, which always have a lower
environmental impact.
For the past few years, there has been rising international awareness regarding the
damaging and dangerous impact on the environment of plastic bags.
Governments all over the world have decided to get involved in that particular issue:
Some governments have decided to ban them: Bangladesh, Bhutan and Zanzibar.
Plastic bags should no more be given for free in China from June 1st. These bags are
surcharged in Germany, South Africa, Ireland and Israel.
Several countries try and promote, trough major retailers, the use of cloth bags, paper
bags or grocery bags: United Kingdom (with Tesco), France (with Carrefour), New
Zealand…
•The petroleum-based plastic bags take decades to
break down, so if they are not recycled they litter. It
creates visual pollution: in the streets, on the
beaches etc. Also, they can clog roadside drains,
which could cause street flooding during heavy
rainfall
•Plastic bags can be recycled but it rarely happens: according
to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, only
1% of plastic bags were recycled in 2000, against twenty
percent for paper bags.
•They endanger wildlife and particularly sea life such as sea turtles and dolphins which can
die of entanglement, suffocation, and ingestion because they assume that these bags are
jellyfish.
What YOU can still do!
What is being done!
IN THE US:

Plastic bags are already used less than paper bags by American
consumers, and there have been no government actions to further
curb their use. But large cities such as San Francisco and
Portland, OR, have planned or plan to ban plastic bags, whereas
Seattle, WA will certainly launch a 20 cent “green fee” on plastic
bags.

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