Plastic bags: a convenience that kills?
Plastic bags are absolutely pervasive across the globe - from the Americas to Asia, Africa and Australia. These cheap single-use “conveniences” have become part of modern life everywhere, but they are also huge contributors to climate-changing emissions, toxic oceans, and land pollution. Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, a fossil fuel derivative, that is wholly toxic from creation to disposal. Shockingly, the world consumes something between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags per year. Much like the wider story of plastic, a very small amount of plastic is recycled. Much of this non-biodegradable waste ends up in the oceans and in the guts of marine life, and eventually in humans.
Fortunately, countries, organizations, and companies around the world are waking up to the plastic bag crisis. Several countries have banned or imposed restrictions on the consumption of plastic bags, including parts of Australia and Europe, China and various African countries including Morocco, the country in focus in this month’s MOoW visionary video. Find out more about the problem of general plastic waste in our January article on plastic innovation. Join a growing number of conscientious consumers who mitigate the problem by bringing their own reusable fabric bags with them whenever they shop.