Tackling Our Plastic Issue Starts With the Bag

Tackling Our Plastic Issue

Starts With the Bag

By João Victor Bittar

Plastic bag-free day commences on the 3rd of July.

And is a global initiative that aims to eliminate plastic bags. These items begin their life cycle as fossil fuels and become deadly waste, wreaking havoc on islands, beaches, landfills and enter our oceans where they cause further damage.

Many animals mistake these shredded plastic bags for resources such as food without realising they are filling their stomachs with toxic debris. Birds, sea turtles and fish are most affected by the global plastic crisis.

When plastic breaks down, it turns into microplastics that the naked eye cannot see. The trouble with microplastics is they can quickly enter our food system, and scientists have already suggested we could be eating them, particularly when we opt for seafood.

It has been estimated that globally people consume the equivalent of a credit card of plastic each week. In addition, it has been estimated that by 2050, our seas will house more plastic than fish.

When you read statistics like this, it becomes very real. Plastic is a real issue globally. The people on Earth use more than 500 billion plastic bags each year. When the figure is broken down, that equates to 150 bags per person.

If we do a rough calculation, 1 million plastic bags go to the bin every minute. This global problem poses enormous issues for wildlife, mainly marine ecosystems. A plastic bag takes anywhere from 100 to 500 years to disintegrate.

The first plastic bag was created in 1965, and the bags made during this time can still be found in our environment today. In particular, they can be found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where all sorts of plastic waste have accumulated.

So, what can we do to stop this global issue and protect all living beings on our planet? The simple answer is we can stop using plastic bags. This is a very realistic and easy-to-implement solution.

Suppose you are offered a plastic bag in a grocery store, a restaurant, or a market. Simply decline and ask if they have a paper option. On the other hand, if you have already accumulated some plastic bags, try to reuse them. You can also purchase your own cotton bag to bring around with you.

Plastic bag-free day is an important day in the year as it brings attention to this enormous problem. It encourages people to change their attitude and also the spreading of information for the cause. More than 7.5 billion people are living on the planet. As a result, we all must play our part and contribute to ending this global issue.

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