Plastic Carrier Bags .... are so much part of life nowadays that it's hard to imagine life without them. But they haven't been around that long, and many older people will remember managing perfectly well without them! Many people feel that they are a bad thing, but here are some facts that will probably shock you.
13 billion are thrown away a year in the UK alone. Worldwide consumption is more than 500 billion – that's one million a minute! The average family accumulates 60 bags in only four trips to the supermarket and the average time of use is only12 minutes. Plastic bags take 1,000 years to decompose. Only 1 in 200 is recycled because it's not financially viable. They are made from non-renewable petroleum, thus wasting valuable resources and their production is hazardous and harmful to the environment
They make litter on land - and every square mile of the ocean has 46,000 pieces of plastic in it. This harms marine wildlife. 100,000 marine mammals die each year from ingesting plastic waste. Fishes and birds are also damaged and killed. Albatross chicks starve to death because their stomachs are filled with plastic.
Bags made from paper and compostable materials are little better; they still use large amounts of raw materials and energy.
The solution is simple - re-usable bags! Each re-usable bag can eliminate hundreds, if not thousands of plastic bags. Ban plastic bags in your own life and you will be making a tremendous difference to the world.