I know that everyone does things a little bit differently, I just get so wrapped up I how I do things that I forget about what others do. I rarely take bags when I shop. I know it makes my mom a little crazy when I am in a department store but I’d rather combine my purchases into one bag.
Anyway, there are a lot of times that I go to food stores with my friends and I shocked at the number of plastics bags that anyone can use. First people will put all their fruits and veggies into different bags. Then they get plastic bags for their purchases and double bag the heavy or sharp things. I get that the bags are useful and reusable but no one can possible use that many bags. And they just get thrown out.
I don’t understand how some many people can care so little about the environment, while I care so much. I feel that bringing your own bag to the food store is well advertised; so I wonder what it would take to get these people to use their reusable bags. I don’t think it’s the advertisements nor do I think that a five cent discount will help.
Plastic bags have a huge impact. We use them in such large quantities. They are cheap, reliable and mass produced, however they have negative qualities as well.
Plastic bags litter the landscape. Once they are used, most plastic bags go into landfill, or rubbish tips. Each year more and more plastic bags are ending up littering the environment. Once they become litter, plastic bags find their way into our waterways, parks, beaches, and streets. And, if they are burned, they infuse the air with toxic fumes.
Plastic bags kill animals. About 100,000 animals such as dolphins, turtles whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bags. Many animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and therefore die. And worse, the ingested plastic bag remains intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal. Thus, it lies around in the landscape where another victim may ingest it.
Plastic bags are non-biodegradable. And one of the worst environmental effects of plastic bags is that they are non-biodegradable. The decomposition of plastic bags takes about 1000 years.
Petroleum is required to produce plastic bags. As it is, petroleum products are diminishing and getting more expensive by the day, since we have been using this non-renewable resource increasingly. Petroleum is vital for our modern way of life. It is necessary for our energy requirements – for our factories, transport, heating, lighting, and so on. Without viable alternative sources of energy yet on the horizon, if the supply of petroleum were to be turned off, it would lead to practically the whole world grinding to a halt. Surely, this precious resource should not be wasted on producing plastic bags, should it?
I am very rarely in favor of new taxes, but personally I think that there should charge five cents for each plastic bag. I am not positive that this will act as a deterrent, but it’s worth a try. And it’s not like we don’t have other options. We can bring reusable bags to the market. So many stores sell these bags now. I have reusable bags from Target, Giant, Whole Foods, Macy’s and several promotion bags that I have gotten. And if I go to the store and don’t have one of my bags, or I purchase more food than will fit in my bag, then I take plastic bags and I reuse them. I use them to pack my lunch or as a trash bag.
I know a lot of people reuse bags, but if you always get plastic bags then I do not believe that there is any way to use all of the plastic bags you are collecting. Everything is okay in moderation.