Paper or Plastic? That question may someday be a thing of the past!
Single-use plastic bags, a staple of American life, have got to go, according to the United Nations’ environmental Chief.
Although recycling bags is on the rise in the United States, an estimated 90 billion thin bags a year, most used to handle produce and groceries, go unrecycled. They were the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts at the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental group.
“Single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program. His office advises U.N. member states on environmental policies.
The proliferation of plastic bags has wreaked environmental havoc. A Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times series in 2006 documented how plastics were choking the seas. In one region in the Pacific Ocean halfway between San Francisco and Hawaii, a garbage patch twice the size of Texas is swirling clockwise, filled with plastic debris that is ingested by birds and other wildlife.
Many Cities are banning the use of plastic bags, the first U.S. city was San Fransisco in 2007.
As of July 1, a sweeping ban on plastic grocery bags went into effect for unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The bag ban was touted by county supervisors as an environmental measure to rid the county of “urban tumbleweed” that pollutes landfills and gets washed out to sea. Paper bags will still be available, but customers will be charged 10 cents per bag.
Mark Gold, president of the Santa Monica environmental group Heal the Bay, had this to say: “You cannot recycle your way out of the plastic bag problem,” Gold said. “The cost of convenience can no longer be at the expense of the environment.”
It is not just an America problem it is a worldwide problem. and along with cities like San Francisco and Los Angele others around the globe such as China, Mexico City, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and many more have bans in place.
The ban efforts are intended to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags to the market for shopping.
If we use a cloth bag we can save 6 bags a week, that’s 24 bags a month, 288 bags a year, which is 22.176 bags in an average lifetime.
If one out of 5 people in this country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags!
Plastic bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil. So reducing the use of plastic bags will also decrease the dependence on foreign oil!
China will save 37 million barrels of oil every year due to their ban on free plastic bags, “Don’t you think it is time for us to make a change?
Say No to plastic bags!!!
And remember to keep re-usable shopping bags in your car, never leave home with out them. It is a very simple way to do your part in the fight to save our environment and Go Green America!!!
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!
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