June 3, 2010
The reasons why the world is heading towards an environmental catastrophe isn’t only big things such as the BP oil leak, even when it is the biggest environmental catastrophe ever recorded. One of the top issues is our daily living as consumers. You shop almost everyday for food, clothes or just stuff. With every piece of merchandise you get a plastic bag; you get one for bread, you get another one for your groceries (for which bag they charge for 5 cents or so), you get one for your new shoes, you get one for your new TV (which at the end, is also wrapped in plastic), you get one with your favorite candy bar or maybe even better, you get candies wrapped in plastic foil and then each one is packed again – in plastic. What is the point?
Have you ever thought of where all the hundreds of thousands of plastic bags you get during your daily living end up? I have. Of course you can separate your plastic bags into the right bin or better say in most of the western world you can. But is do all of them get properly discarded and recycled? I don’t think so. During my travels to nature and diving in water (rivers, lakes and sea) I’ve seen plastic bags hovering 20 meters deep. What they are doing there? That is a really good question.
Since in nature, and especially in water you get some sort of decomposition, even of the artificial materials like plastic bags are made of. What really happens isn’t decomposition to natural resources; the plastic substance is still present, you just don’t see it as a plastic bag any more. If you took a microscope, you could clearly see what it is. Small pieces of plastic in water, in the ground. Over time they becomes so small that they get into animals (fish) or plants. What happens with these animals? Some of them get eaten and there you are with small pieces of plastic entering your system, literally sealing your body off.
One of the good things would be having paper bags as an option, and it is the case in some places but in most of them, it is not. Let’s take for instance BILLA, a large supermarket where they are offering paper bags, but still the paper bags are more expensive than the plastic ones, which you get most of the time for free. Considering that paper is a natural resource why we are pumping oil industry with our daily living? Isn’t it enough you drive your car alone everyday to work and back?
This is why plastic bags should be more expensive so people will have to choose the more natural way simply because they will be forced to act economically. You take this paper bag for 1 euro or you can take your stupid plastic bag for 5 euros. Do the math yourself and do the math for the nature, it’s really simple.
I for myself, I shop most of the time using my non-plastic reusable bag, and I’m asking you to do the same.Author : janhusar