I remember very well that my grandma used to have less plastic bags in her kitchen than what we have nowadays. She reused every single one of them until the plastic bag was broken. She washed the plastic bag and she let it dry and then the plastic bag was good to go. 😀  What weird memories I have, right? Some of the plastic bags were used for my lunch for school and I was forced to bring back my bag every day.

20 years later and we think we are smarter and more practical. Well, why reuse and recycle … when we have so many plastic bags given for free from the market and from all sorts of other neighborhood shops, or if not for free, we can buy whatever plastic bag we like. 😀 No?

Well… NO, not really. Let me tell you why; let me tell you what I learned and I bet you will look at these plastic bags with other eyes. I promise! 😀      We all heard how plastic is harmful to the environment and to the human body, but today I want to tackle the issue of plastic bags and see why it is necessary to revise our current attitude towards their continued, growing and lacking use, with low discernment I would say, without seeming exaggerated in any way.

cloth bag

Plastic bags are a danger to us all because:

  • plastic bags are made of polyethylene, a thermoplastic made of oil (non-regenerative resource). These bags are photodegradable, which means that over time the plastic decomposes into petro-polymers (https://www.slideshare.net/vmizner/the-dangers-of-plastic-bags-481738) smaller and more toxic. These contaminants poison soil and water and then enter our food chain. That’s exactly what we needed!
  • the pollution resulting from the use of plastic bags is massive; it is also called “white pollution”
  • a plastic bag needs 20 to 1000 years to degrade naturally, depends on its thickness
  • the destruction of plastic bags by burning is done in a very toxic way, resulting in noxes seriously damaging to our air and soil
  • plastic bags are responsible for the death of animals of different species. These animals die by swallowing the bags, choking with them and even by blocking themselves in plastic bags. The most affected species are: dolphins, whales, turtles, seals, fish, various bird species (eg: seagulls) and many other aquatic and terrestrial animals
  • recycling is almost non-existent compared to plastic bags production, because it is more expensive to recycle a bag than to produce a new one … and as you know, financial profit is 1 (unfortunately) for business decisions; you can draw your own conclusions
  • the impact of plastic bags on the environment is enormous. In Australia for example, 50 million garbage bags arrive each year in the Pacific Ocean and the “plastic soup” floating in this ocean is twice as big as the US. This is horrible!

The reasons (for which plastic bags are harmful) presented above are the most important, but they are not the only ones, and if we do a little research we will not be too excited about what we will find, I wasn’t.

In the absence of useful information in the past, our grandparents, had something that we miss today, although we are much more informed than they were; they had respect for the „insignificant” things and they had respect for the environment, and most of all they were not arrogant in regards to things beeing disposable. They were not ashamed, and they still are not ashamed to go to the market with a cloth bag, or to reuse a plastic bag until it breaks, but on the contrary.

cloth bags

I say to follow their example, especially because we would do it consciously now. We can not say that we do not know about the devastating effects this “small” whim takes in our lives and those around us and we do not have to close our eyes, we must find the right solutions for the life we ​​live and reduce as much as we can the use of plastic bags.

Here’s what we can do about it:

  • use the plastic bags you own at this time (thin bags, roll bags, zipper bags). Reuse them until they break. Then recycle them
  • don’t buy more “disposable” plastic bags or if you choose to buy such bags use them until they get damaged and do not throw them after one use
  • purchase cloth, or biodegradable bags that you can use at will
  • if you are ashamed to use cloth bags because they are ugly and not in style, nothing can be farther from the truth. There are now cloth bags for all tastes and for all pockets. I will write at the end of the article a few sites where you can order the perfect bags for you
  • Always keep a bag of cloth in your bag, trunk or pocket, because you never know when you want to buy something. This step is essential, because if you suddenly decide to buy something for which you need a bag, believe me you will not go home to take your bag and then go back to shopping, I guarantee you that it is not the case, you will buy a new plastic bag 99% of the time
  • purchase a small trolley (wheel-cloth bag) to go to the farmer’s market and just put on a smile for older people who will not feel alone in this journey 😀

troller

  • choose not to see a solution in paper bags, because it is not such a good ideea or option. For paper bags we cut woods, so the cloth bag is the best solution
  • buy or make your own recycled cloth bags from old shirts and personalize them with messages that match your taste and why not with ecological messages such as “PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT”
  • spread the information to all the people you know. The world must become conscious!
  • and most importantly: your own example is always the best example, the best option possible 😀

 

I’m very glad you had the patience to read the whole article and I hope from the bottom of my heart that you did not read fast and that you took everything that I told you seriously. Wouldn’t  be nice to do everything we can to eliminate plastic bags and put our shoulder to the rebuilding of an informed society that lives in harmony with the world and with old-fashioned cloth bags? 😀

Cool cloth bags:

https://www.amazon.com/reusable-grocery-bags/b?ie=UTF8&node=1252210011

https://www.walmart.com/c/ep/reusable-grocery-bags

https://www.reusethisbag.com/custom-reusable-grocery-bags.php

The World counter (how many plastic bags we use in one year) :

http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/waste_pollution_facts/plastic_bags_used_per_year

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