Monday, August 17, 2009

ban plastic bags

Today i received my order from peapod grocery delivery service. my $100 worth of groceries arrived in 22 plastic bags! i was so disgusted i had to snap a photo, shoot an email to giant foods (owner of peapod) and then blog about it!
plastic bags were introduced 25 years ago, and are currently consumed at an astounding rate of about 500 billion per year globally, or 1 million per minute. An estimated 5 billion bags end up as windblown litter each year. Single-use plastic grocery bags were the second most common form of litter, right behind cigarette butts at the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental group. These bags that take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade often end up in waterways or the landscape, eventually degrading water and soil as they break down into tiny toxic bits. "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 Programme. Large amounts of carbon dioxide are released during the manufacture, transportation, and disposal of plastic bags.
In March 2007, San Francisco became the first US city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets. Under their legislation, large markets and pharmacies will have the option of using biodegradable bags made of cornstarch or bags made of recyclable paper or reusable cloth. Similar legislation has been successful in countries and cities around the world. The Irish government introduced a plastic bag tax (PlasTax) last year that has slashed consumption over 90% and raised $9.6 million for environmental and waste management projects. Washington DC has approved similar legislation. Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Zanzibar, and Rwanda have all banned or are moving towards banning plastic bags. Los Angeles' ban takes effect next year. China's bag ban saved 1.6 million tons of oil.
This is the direction we should all be moving in.

1 comment:

  1. South Africa did phase out free plastic bags. We were charged a nominal amount for bags, and encouraged to reuse shopping bags. But, slowly, and quietly, some shops drift back to handing out free bags. I was always the bag lady, having learnt in Switzerland to reuse shopping bags.