This week for #juneocean I wanted to talk about the all famous topic of plastic bags. As you have noticed, ever week a new country or state announces a ban for plastic bags. When I first moved to Australia, I was astounded that they still provided plastic bags in supermarkets in the year 2012! In France, for as long as I remember, my mother had been bringing big heavy duty bags to do our shopping. Indeed, when I look at the information, France ruled out using plastic bags in 2015 and is pioneering the way for future countries with this years single use takeaway containers, utensils and straws. France’s law for plastic straws, utensils and cutlery coes into affect in 2020.
While the governments, organisations and big dogs are slowly shifting their way to respond to the tsumani of plastic awaiting us in the oceans, we as individuals have enormous power by ourselves. If you were to stop using plastic bags, that could amount to as decreasing (lets say you go shopping twice a week, each week you get 4 bags, multiply that by the amount of weeks in a year, and you’re hovering around 500 single use bags just for you) Now consider that we are all shaped by the people we spend the most time with, invariably by eliminating your use of plastic bags you will inspire your mother, brother, sister, friend, uncle, colleague, daughter, son to do the same.
The beauty of this is, they might not even realize that they’re doing in the first place, but soon enough you have set off a chain reaction of positive change through your surroundings.
A quick over view of the plastic bag statistics :
- Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.
- If you lined them up, they would circumvent the globe 4,200 times.
- It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. – Meaning it is not financially viable to recycle them, making them disposable.
- Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.
More terrifying plastic ocean facts can be found here.