Plastic bags: the enemies of the environment

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Plastic bags: the enemies of the environment

We think it sounds frightening. Let’s start from the beginning, though.

Plastic bags came into existence in the late 1970s when they were considered quite a genius invention that made people’s lives a lot easier. They’re cheap, lightweight and convenient, not to mention strong - and most of us don’t think twice when using a few.

Yes, they completely revolutionized our shopping experience as well as the way we collect garbage. However, plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photo degrade over a long time, which means they break down into smaller toxic bits and contaminate our soil and waterways. Not to mention they enter our food web when animals accidentally ingest them – which happens often.

Plastic bags pollute drainage ditches, rivers, city streets and most importantly: the oceans. Nearly 90% of the debris in our oceans is plastic. Not a good thing, considering a single bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment.

Many people think that reusing their plastic bags as garbage bags solves the problem. While this helps reduce usage, it does nothing but delay the inevitable outcome. This is why countries like Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and Bangladesh have controversially started taxing them or even banned their use and other countries are about to follow.

Businesses have a responsibility to make a difference and as such you may wish to set an example for your end user. For example, IKEA in the USA experienced a 92% drop in plastic bag usage after one year by only adding a 5-cent surcharge on their bags. Encouraging customer to bring re-usable bags is a great idea. If every restaurant, shop and organization did the same, think of the difference it would make in the reduction of plastic bag usage. Another easy solution is to use biodegradable or paper bags, which has proven very effective and has been adopted by, for instance, numerous retailers such as Primark.

Not to worry, though! We have you covered. Check out our product lines where you can find everything you need and you’ll always stay sustainable!

Posted: Monday 18 January 2016