Ban the Plastic Bag is a small but very evocative read from the green shelf of Fragile Earth Books and essentially, it sets out a community action plan for a carrier bag-free world.
Every year 17 billion carrier bags are given away free in the UK; that means an average of 300 carrier bags for every man, woman and child. Plastics do not biodegrade and scientists now estimate that plastic lasts for up to 1,000 years.
Every carrier bag that has ever been produced is still on the planet, in landfill, hedgerows, or floating in the sea. Plastic bag litter is lethal, killing over 100,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, whales and turtles every year.
Worldwide, people are rallying: in Bangladesh and Taiwan carrier bags have been banned; China has announced it will soon do the same. Ireland introduced a 15p levy on plastic bags, which has led to a 90% reduction in their use. Marks & Spencer has introduced a similar charge.
Hi everybody, Thomas here. Are you a bit like me and are still dumbfounded by the sight of people carrying their shopping in plastic bags? That in this day and age, people are still using plastic bags despite being aware of the havoc they cause to the environment? I must confess, it is similar to the reaction I get when I see young people smoking. I just cannot understand why people persist in doing these things despite the tidal waves of information that say it is really not such a good idea.
I have actually confronted friends and family who still use plastic bags in order to get some kind of explanation out of them. The most common retort I get is that they reuse the bags as bin liners and therefore need to keep taking plastic bags to add to the massive collection that they already have at home. The idea of using paper bags as bin liners or buying biodegradable bin liners apparently hasn’t occurred to them yet.