Recently, I have stopped using plastic bags. It has gotten some getting used to, every once and a while I forget that to ask the cashier not to bag my things. I hope to give up plastic bags for good. I never want to use one again, ever.
Plastic bags are choking the planet
Stores everywhere hand out these “free” bags. These bags come at a large cost, for both the consumer and the environment.
- Each year billions of plastic bags end up as ugly litter
- Eventually they break down into tiny toxic bits polluting our soil, river, lakes and ocean
- Production requires vast amounts of oil
- Annual cost to US retailers alone is estimated at $4 billion
- When retailers give away free bags, their costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
- Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Turtles think the bags are jellyfish, their primary food source. Once swallowed, plastic bags choke animals or block their intestines, leading to an agonizing death.
- On land, many cows, goats and other animals suffer a similar fate to marine life when they accidentally ingest plastic bags while foraging for food.
- In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water.
- Collection, hauling and disposal of plastic bag waste create an additional environmental impact. An estimated 8 billion pounds of plastic bags, wraps and sacks enter the waste stream every year in the US alone, putting an unnecessary burden on our diminishing landfill space and causing air pollution if incinerated.
- Recycling requires energy for the collection, processing, etc. and doesn’t address the above issues. To learn more visit Recycling Can Fix This, Right?
Just Say No Thanks
Next time you are purchasing something just let the cashier know that you do not need a bag. I try and do this each and every time I purchase things. Most of the time the cashier looks as me as though I am crazy. These bags are so convenient, that is true. In the end, I do not feel that the convenience is worth all the terrible consequences.
Bring Your Own Bag. If you feel that you cannot carry all your purchased items, do not give in to the plastic bag. Totes solve your problem. Besides that, they are so much cuter than plastic.
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