In all our travels there’s one thing that’s common amongst all “third world”(I hate that term BTW) countries. It’s the prevelance of an unbelievable amount of plastic waste. Disposable water bottles are plaguing these countries and tourism plays a big part in that. From the treks of Nepal to the beaches of Vietnam, plastic water bottles are everywhere.
Where I live back home in the beautiful state of Idaho we have another plastic problem. And that is plastic bags. It’s amazing how many they use when packing up your groceries. It’s almost as if they get a commission for using more. An absolute waste.
All around Idaho plastic bags are heavily discouraged or not used at all. It will be a long time before that happens in Idaho. But I want to do
Just like anything in life, habits are a bitch to change, and the convenience of plastic bags has become habit for many of us. I am going to challenge myself to a month of no plastic bags so I can get out of the habit.
I encourage any of you out there to do the same. Let’s all make it a point to use less plastic and leave a better planet for those who follow us.
Plastic bag facts
- Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
- It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile.
- Target gives away enough plastic bags a year to wrap around the Earth 7 times.
- The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.
- According to Waste Management, only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling. That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year; the rest ends up in landfills as litter.
- Up to 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution enters the ocean from land.
- At least 267 different species have been affected by plastic pollution in the ocean.
- 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually.
- One in three leatherback sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs.
- Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes.
- It takes 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
Pretty clear we need to stop right?
Where I live there is no movement to try and cut back. If you ask for a paper bag they give you a dirty look as it inconveniences them.
Our plan is to use the reusable shopping bags that you can find just about anywhere. We would only use paper bags if we happened to forget our reusable bags. I’m also going to be getting all my coworkers on this plan as well. If you already do this maybe your challenge could be to get another person on the same program.
Leave a comment and let us know