The Evil Of the Plastic Bag

It’s official, plastic bags are public enemy number one!!

As a fifties innovative invention, no one gave as second thought to the ‘le bag plastique’ until these past few years.

Useful in many ways, and not to mention doubling up as a bin liner in many a bedroom, the plastic bag has now been recognized as a hazard to our environment.

It’s looking like a plastic bag free future for all. Many countries are now putting ecological structures in place to stop the spread of this blot on the landscape; the UK, South Africa and Australia to name a few.

The powers at be in San Francisco for example bought in a law in 2007, banning the use of plastic bags. With a population of approximately 752,000, it was estimated that the city generates over 1,400 tons of waste each year just from plastic bags.

Not being biodegradable has been one of the ‘PBs’ downfalls, being made from a non-renewable natural resource-petroleum means it just can’t be. And for you swats reading this, plastic photodegrades, which means; the process of breaking down the plastic into smaller pieces and thus contaminating our soil, waterways and oceans.

Basically, it breaks down and it never goes away!! Wikipedia can also fill you in on this…

The plastic bag also hates animals. Animals eat them thinking its food. They get all caught up in it and subsequently starve to death. It’s so sad and so unavoidable, if we all get our act together sooner rather than later…

Big supermarket chains are offering an alternative to the plastic bag by offering ‘a bag for life.’ Tesco for example then add a further incentive with a Green Clubcard Points scheme which can save their customer some more money off their grocery shopping.

Whilst Sainsbury’s produces around 1.6 billion bags a year. And have given away 15million ‘bags for life’ in the last year to its customers. They have also changed materials used in their free bags to include 10% chalk to reduce use of virgin plastic and state that plastic carrier bags are made from 33% recycled material.

So where do we go from here then? Everyone has an idea about this and how to address the immediate and long term problem out there. And I suppose the good thing is that businesses now, big and small, are re-thinking this issue seriously for once; off their own backs or by force by new legislations.

In this year’s Budget however it was announced that the UK Government would bring in legislation in 2009 to reduce the number of plastic bags in use by 12 billion. Too little too late? Perhaps… Why the wait until 2009 then?

Back to bags just for one sec. For all you Fashionistas out there, there is no need these days to dress down to be green. Some of the alternative bags for life out there aren’t all that; we know. But there are some great bags out there now so there really is no excuse. A great one we found was this one on http://www.bagsofchange.co.uk/

Jeff Smith is the managing director of Karma Technologies and feels strongly about implementing ways to be green [http://www.karmatechnologies.co.uk/green] into their business practices, to a point they are almost a paper-free company.


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