The amount of plastic bags made each year has now passed 1 trillion & they take up to 1,000 years to fully decompose.
‘The plastic bag’, In use by consumers worldwide since the 1960s and with global demand numbers now annually containing eighteen zeros, the amount of plastic bags floating and flying around in fields, parks, trees and rivers is quite frightening. And growing all the time. Whats more, if we include refuse sacks into this, the total becomes a staggering 7 trillion plastic bags.
Our planet has its very own plague, and its a plastic one.
The casual ‘throw away’ item that is the plastic bag, is now responsible for some of the worlds worst natural atrocities. It is never headline news, but the effects of our ever growing use of plastic bags has lead to an overwhelming demand on a yearly basis and that has caused some major problems.
Bangladesh had catastrophic floods from 1988 – 1998 which submerged two thirds of the entire country. The cause of those floods was the nations water and sewage system being clogged up by plastic bags.
How many plastic bags does the average family use?
Based on a conservative average, if one person were shopping each week for a families needs, they would require 6 or 7 visits each week in a combination of trips to the supermarket, local shop, newsagents, high street store etc. If each visit resulted in two bags per visit, that would equate to 672 plastic bags per year. Thats the same amount of petroleum that can drive a car 48 miles !
With upcoming charges for plastic bags, some already being enforced throughout the UK, this would cost approx. £34 per year.
The Office for National Statistics says that there were 7.7m UK families with dependent children in the UK in 2012, 1 in 7 of which had three or more dependent children. That’s a lot of families using a lot of plastic bags.
Figures confirmed for plastic bag usage in 2012 had Scotland using 750,000,000 plastic bags and England over 8 billion.
What happens to all those plastic bags that end up discarded? The answer is absolutely nothing. They have a biodegradable period of around 1,000 years. And that’s when they do their damage.
Plastic bags cause the deaths of 1 million+ sea birds per year and over 100,000 Dolphins, Sharks, Turtles & Whales.
Scientists with the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute (PCRI) discovered a dead sperm whale floating near Mykonos Island in the Aegean Sea. ‘He was bone thin; something had clearly gone wrong’ scientists said. When autopsied, they discovered what was reported as ‘a mini plastic landfill’ of plastic bags inside its stomach.
Help for Global Oil supplies and prices
Along with environmental benefits, the sheer volume we drain from our planet could be alleviated and as a result help the price drop. It all just makes sense to stop using plastic bags..
Would reducing plastic bag usage really affect the worlds global oil prices? The U.S alone uses twelve million barrels of oil every year making plastic bags. That alone would make a HUGE difference.
The amount of petroleum used to make one plastic bag would reportedly power a car 115 metres. 14 plastic bags = 1 mile.
What can we do?
It requires a herculean effort, but we have to do something, that is for sure. One thing we can do is stop using plastic bags. This behavioural change is needed now, as the damage is being done on a daily basis. Use more reusable shopping bags, maintain them with regular cleans and get in the habit of taking them with you.
The wait for an antibacterial shopping bag is now over. www.bigfatbags.co.uk now offers a range of Antibacterial Shopping bags that are LIFETIME WIPECLEAN and inbuilt with the same technology used in operating theatres the world over.
This unique product, new to the UK market now offers safe & protected transport of all your groceries and food stuff. The perfect solution to food safety and the environment.
Read the Daily Mail article on ‘How your bag-for-life could POISON you’ with expert advice and input from Professor Hugh Pennington @ DailyMail-Health-Bagforlife-could-poison-you
Article by the Grocery Box Company Ltd, Sept 2014