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Plastic (not so) Fantastic – Can we change the way we pack up our shopping?

July 7, 2015

Last Friday it was International Plastic Bag Free Day 

We liked this witty but also insightful take on the day from Tearfund’s Ben Cohen.

 

FACTS

25

ON AVERAGE, PLASTIC BAGS ARE USED FOR 25 MINUTES!

 

500

IT TAKES BETWEEN 100-500 YEARS FOR A PLASTIC BAG TO DISINTEGRATE
(DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF PLASTIC)

 

1m

1 MILLION PLASTIC BAGS ARE IN USE AROUND THE WORLD/ 1 MINUTE

 

 500b

THE AVERAGE EUROPEAN USES ABOUT 500 PLASTIC BAGS/YEAR
EUROPEANS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT A BAN ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS.

 

80

80% OF MARINE LITTER IS PLASTIC

 

3m

3.4 MILLION TONES OF PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS ARE PRODUCED IN THE EU EACH YEAR. THIS CORRESPONDS TO THE WEIGHT OF MORE THAN TWO MILLION CARS!

 


SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS ARE…

BAD FOR THE PLANET

They take 100s of years to degrade and they not only pollute the environment but actually directly harm many living organisms

BADLY DESIGNED

It doesn’t make sense to produce something that lasts 100s of years when it is going to be used for a few minutes.  It is a contradiction that in a throw-away society nothing good lasts whilst bad products are forever.

UGLY!

Reusable bags are a lot cooler !

EXPENSIVE

Producers don’t take responsibility for the impact of their
product. Plastic bags are cheap to produce but very expensive
to clean from the environment.

BAD FOR YOUR MIND

They embody the message of the throw-away society that is trashing the planet.

UNFAIR

Future generations will suffer from the pollution caused by plastic bags, without getting any of the benefit.
Future generations don’t vote, but they count.

92% OF THE 95,5 BILLION

carrier bags in the EU in 2010

MADE OF CRUDE OIL

i.e. a finite resource

GET INTO THE FOOD CHAIN

Pulverised plastic waste in the sea gets into the food chain

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2015 8:00 am

    I re-use plastic bags and I am beginning to wonder if the move to biodegradable is the worse solution. Now we seem to end up with tiny fragments of bags that do not do the job we intended of them and that is to keep things dry. It seems to make them even less usable than they were. I am not advocating moving back to a throw-away society – I only fill a wheelie bin once a month at the moment, due to some accumulated rubbish on our farm, in our day-to-day life we would only fill a quarter, if that. I just wonder if some of the solutions are worse than the cure. Back to the drawing board I think on the proper use of plastic and what it needs to do or the better availability of the alternatives.

  2. Jill Houlden permalink
    July 13, 2015 4:49 pm

    I thought that the single use plastic bag was to be banned , later this year, in England, as it already is in the other parts of UK. What is wrong with having proper , long lasting shopping bags, like our Mums and Grans did?

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