Plastic bags: suffocating the world
At this time of year you can look down any shopping street and see people clutching numerous plastic carrier bags and it upsets me to think of all these bags ending up in landfill or the sea. For a few years now I’ve tried to always carry reusable shopping bags and am very disappointed in myself when I forget them. Only if there’s absolutely no way I can carry my purchases in my hands and pockets will I then accept a plastic bag. But even then I’m amazed at how many plastic bags we seem to have accumulated in our house.
Although carrier bags contain 70% less plastic than 20 years ago, most are still made from polyethylene which is non-degradable. This kind of plastic takes a long time to break down, possibly up to hundreds of years. Next time you go for a walk whether in a city or the country count how many plastic bags you see littering the landscape. I think you’ll be surprised at how many there are. If you think nothing of taking a plastic bag from a shop, then maybe this infographic will change your mind when you see how plastic bags affect our environment and economy.
What can you do?
Not using or, at least, reducing your usage of plastic bags is an eco-friendly change which everyone can make. It’s a small change to your life which can make a big difference to the levels of plastic rubbish and pollution found on our planet. So could you be green, greener or the greenest?
- Try not to use more plastic bags than you need. Do you really need a plastic bag every time you buy something? Could you put your shopping in the same bag?
- Re-use plastic carrier bags by putting a few old ones in your handbag, pocket, car or anywhere else you might need them. Keep using them until they fall apart and then recycle them. I take mine to my local supermarket.
Treat yourself to some lovely shopping bags and it doesn’t have to be made of hessian or hemp if that’s not your thing! There are lots of beautiful designs available in a wide range of materials and I’ve become a bit obsessed with them. Don’t just use them for food shopping either. I use mine for anything and everything including clothes and shoes. Here are some ideas to get you started and they make a great Christmas or birthday presents too.
- If you’re looking for a cotton bag how about supporting the Whale & Dolphin Conservation charity with an unbleached cotton bag carrying the “Protect our Dolphins” logo on it for only £1.50.
- Nigel’s Eco Store stocks a range of bags including the stylish Envirosax which come in lots of gorgeous designs. They’re made from durable, waterproof polyester and are large, strong bags which roll up nice and small so they can easily be stashed in your handbag or glovebox. Weighing only 40g they are lightweight and portable. I’ve got several of these bags in my handbag at the moment.
- You can get this stylish eco-bag which is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and folds into it’s own carry pocket. Durable, lightweight and hard wearing, these fantastic bags are great for shopping or the beach and their compact fold-away size makes them an excellent and practical eco-friendly gift. Available in three attractive and colourful designs from Ecocentric.
- Onya bags are another favourite of mine and again they fold up into their own pouch and have a clip so you can hang them from your keyring or handbag. Green People sell two different types of Onya bags including one with a shoulder bag with a secure zip-up closure plus when you’re using the bag the pouch becomes a useful storage pocket for for mobile/ipod/radio.
Sign up for emailsSpecial offers & more direct to your inbox
Tweets by @BeaShadeGreenerMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages