Imagine A World Without Plastic Bags
A customer posted a review on our Degradable Swing Bin Liners this week, saying “We’ve just ordered these bags for the second time. They are really good. They are large and strong enough like a normal bin bag but they are degradable and don’t harm the environment as much. If everyone was using these, can you imagine what a difference it would make?” and it got me thinking, imagining.
What would it be like?
Plastic has been around for 100 years now, and plastic bags have only been in circulation for about 50 years and already the internet is rife with facts demonstrating the enormously destructive effect on our environment and wildlife. Here are three as a taster:
- Regular plastic bags take up to 1000 years to degrade and even after that time do not fully disappear.
- There are approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of ocean.
- Each year, an estimated 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and many, many fish die from plastic bags floating in water.
There are plenty more sites with more information, if you’re looking, but I thought we’d take a moment considering an alternative viewpoint; what would life be like without plastic bags?
For starters, our oceans would be cleaner, there would probably be 1 million more sea birds, 100,000 more sea mammals and tonnes more fish alive in the oceans each year, not to mention a lot less rubbish in 1000 years time.
Perhaps the price of our petrol would be lower, as apparently, the amount of petroleum used to create 14 plastic bags is enough to drive a car one mile! If it were not in demand for creating plastic bags, perhaps we would save a little money when we visit the local petrol pump?! That would be nice, wouldn’t it.
Beaches would be cleaner, eco-systems healthier, landfill sites significantly smaller, rare species of animals would be safer and councils and goverments would save money on clearing rubbish from the streets if we didn’t use plastic bags.
Trees would no longer act as cobwebs to catch broken and lost plastic bags and we wouldn’t have that drawer in our kitchen crammed full with unused plastic bags we don’t know what to do with. We would even have freedom from the dangers of plastic bags blowing onto our windscreens when driving. The positives are endless!
What is really great is that it isn’t difficult to make an impact on this. All we need to do is remember to take reusable bags when we go shopping and refuse to take free plastic bags from shops. We can use degradable bags like DTW Swing Bin Liners for our household rubbish to minimise the impact on the environment and recycle all we can. We have a wonderful range of reusable shopper bags available here which are particularly good if you don’t wish to advertise your local supermarket every time you shop. We have some practical shoppers, like our Jute bags or CPRE shopping bags some simply gorgeous shopper bags such as our People Tree striped shopper or our Sarah Smith confetti shopper.
We’ve heard fantastic reports that some towns have already become plastic-bag free and discovered that there are numerous websites dedicated to abandoning the use of plastic bags. I was particularly encouraged to hear about the town of Modbury in South Devon, the first UK plastic bag free town: http://www.plasticbagfree.com/ and look forward to hearing how this impacts the town. Have your town started any initiatives to ban the plastic bag? If so, how? Share your thoughts with us, we would love to know more.
Many thanks goes to our customer for triggering some inspiring thoughts today. We hope it has re-inspired you too.
We mustn’t forget though the problem isn’t just plastic bags, plastic is everywhere and is used in all sorts of packaging and like plastic bags, often ends up in the oceans. We read a very sad story recently of a whale found in West Seattle with 20 plastic bags in it’s stomach, along with other human garbage such as a golf ball, surgical gloves and various plastic pieces.