25 February 2009

ban the bag

There is one simple action we can all take that will have an enormous impact on the health of our planet. The next time you shop, carry your own bag. If everyone did this, one of the most lethal polluters created by man would be removed from circulation.

Consider the following facts:
  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene which is a petroleum product
  • Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
  • In Delhi alone, around 10 million plastic bags are used every day
  • 1% of the plastic bags are recycled
  • It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down and this leaches toxic substances that enter the food chain
  • Burning of plastic bags, a common practice in Indian rubbish heaps releases dioxins which causes cancer
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
  • Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals and 100,000 marine mammals die a painful death as the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death
  • Plastic bag choke landfills
  • Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes
  • There are alternatives to plastic bags

Say no to plastic bags:
  • Reuse plastic shopping bags and wraps
  • Use wax paper instead of polyethylene products
  • Utilize reusable shopping bags made of cloth or hemp
  • Recycle your plastic shopping bags
  • If you forget your reusable shopping bag, opt for paper
  • Minimize your garbage output by composting and recycling
  • Tell others about the harmful impact of plastic bag usage
  • If you are only buying one or two items don't ask for a bag
  • Tell your check-out person at the store in advance that you do not want a bag
It might take a little planning and a little more time to say no to plastic bags, but by putting the planet ahead of inconvenience, each and everyone of us can make a difference. More power to you!


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