Do you use plastic bags? If you live in the western world, chances are you use them quite a bit, probably more than you realize. This reliance on disposable plastic is causing an ecological disaster that threatens us all. Gigantic masses of garbage, much of it plastic bags, are choking waterways, threatening sea life, and throwing off the balance that Mother Nature has maintained for millions of years.
While some have taken to reusable cloth bags for their purchases, it has not been enough to stem the tide. Consequently, some cities are banning plastic bags altogether, most recently Montreal. This is an excellent start, but many more municipalities need to follow suit before there will be any real impact.
There also needs to be more action on the part of individual citizens. Here are some steps you can do that require little cost or extra planning:
Buy Reusable Cloth Bags
These are highly affordable and available from most retailers right at the checkout lane. Make sure to keep them handy in your vehicle so you remember to take them into the store.
Even if you do forget to bring the cloth bags in, decline the cashier’s offer of plastic bags. Take the items out to the car in your grocery container and put them into your cloth bags.
Re-Use and Recycle
It was common for people to bring items home from the store in plastic bags and then toss the bags into the garbage. Reuse plastic bags as many times as possible. Once they have reached the point where this is no longer possible; recycle them. Never simply put them into the trash.
Also, contact your local politicians and ask that a plastic bag ban be put into effect in your city. Or, at the very least, a plastic bag tax that will cause others to wake up and switch to cloth as a way of saving money.