The Majestic Plastic Bag
Written by Plant With Purpose on February 17, 2012 in General
by Becky Rosaler
I spotted one on the shoulder of the freeway yesterday! It made me wonder, “Will this Majestic Plastic Bag complete its journey and make its way ‘home’ to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?” What is this Majestic Plastic Bag that I speak of? Watch this 4-minute mockumentary that Heal the Bay created to learn more about the not-so-elusive creature.
Earlier this month, a group of five countries in Africa took one step closer to banning plastic in the EAC (East African Community). This caught my attention because two of those countries are ones that Plant With Purpose partners with, Burundi and Tanzania (the other three countries being Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya).
The East African Community Plastic Control Bill would ban the manufacturing, sale, importation, and use of polythene materials. This would have a positive ecological effect, but quite possibly the opposite on the economy. Companies could obtain clearance from national environmental standards regulators to use polythene materials. They would also face fines if used without permission.
“Polythene waste is a major hindrance in urban and rural areas. The envisaged law in the council’s view, will control pollution and save both flora and fauna,” said Peter Munya, the assistant minister for EAC Affairs.
Rwanda as well as Bangladesh, Botswana, Israel, and France already have similar bans in place.
Cities, counties, and States across the US are joining the conversation regarding bans on plastic, specifically the single use plastic bag. If the mockumentary didn’t give you enough motivation to cut back on your plastic bag use, here are a few additional reasons:
- One plastic bag can take anywhere from 15-1000 years to decompose.
- An average American uses 6 bags a week adding up to 300 bags a year (multiply that by 300 million people).
- A small percentage of these bags are recycled but most end up as litter or taking up space in landfills.
- Plastic is the number one source of pollution in the ocean. Sea turtles can mistake bags for their preferred meal of jellyfish. This has a detrimental effect on their health with data showing that 100,000 marine species die each year from ingesting plastic.
Please share with us your thoughts on the Majestic Plastic Bag.
- Do you have an opinion on a plastic ban?
- What are some helpful tips to make reusable bags a part of your everyday life?
- Are there other ways you’re reducing your use of plastic?
If you haven’t joined the conversation, we’d encourage you to start thinking about your plastic footprint. How much plastic packaging is involved in your next purchase? Fill your own reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. Say no to the bag the checker starts to put your purchase in, just carry out the item instead.
Let’s join our friends in Africa and look out for the health of the earth!