The Growing Stigma Of Plastic Bag Use Stretches Globally

Across the world, there is a growing stigma against plastic bags, especially the single use bag that has become part of the grocery shopping experience. Ireland and Australia have decried its use and there is growing awareness in the United States about the environmental problems created by plastic bags.

Although plastic bags are a late bloomer when it comes to technological innovations, they have spread almost uncontrollably.

The first plastic bags were sandwich bags. These were used in 1957. Then in the late 1970s, department stores began using plastic bags. By the early 1980s, supermarket chains began using them. Today, there may be as many as a trillion bags in use across the world.

The first plastic sandwich bags were introduced in 1957. Department stores started using plastic bags in the late 1970s and supermarket chains introduced the bags in the early 1980s.

Plastic bags have become prolific because they encourage shopping and offer consumers high convenience.

However, plastic bag use is now either being discouraged or banned in many countries around the world, including:

• Australia.

• Bangladesh.

• Ireland.

• Italy.

• South Africa.

• Taiwan.

Plastic Bags are also banned in major cities like Hong Kong, China, and Mumbai, India.

The impact of these crack downs has been enormous. In Australia, each year about 7 billion  Plastic Bags were used and in Ireland each year about 1.2 billion bags were used.

In the United States, it is estimated that about 84 billion plastic bags are used each year.

Why the Stigma Against Plastic Bags?

Although plastic bags are convenient, they are not as innocuous as they seem because they can take up to a 1,000 years to disintegrate. They proliferate because they are easy to manufacture but are almost impossible to properly dispose.

Critics of plastic bags cite many reasons why there is such a push to ban plastic bags:

• Plastic Bags consume large amounts of natural resources.

•  Plastic Bags consume large amounts of manufacturing energy.

•  Plastic Bags fill up landfills.

•  Plastic Bags often litter streets and the countryside.

•  Plastic Bags kill hundreds of marine animals who mistake them for food.

Since plastic bags are a byproduct of petroleum, this means that the raw materials have to be extracted out of the earth, transported, and manufactured. It takes an enormous amount of resources, energy, effort, and cost to create something that will probably only be used for less than an hour.

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Tags: ban plastic bags, byproduct of petroleum, Critics of plastic bags, department stores, grocery shopping, growing stigma, high convenience, manufacturing energy, natural resources, Planet Earth Bag, Plastic Bags, technological innovations

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