FEATURE: Plastic bag trees
I know the issue of plastic bags gets covered lots, even on this site (see here & here) but as Deputy Editor I have not said my piece on the topic so I just wanna stick my oar in and drum up some discussion on this issue.
I'm amazed at how littered our plant is with plastic bags. I don't know if I am looking at the world more aware than before or whether there actually has been a steady increase in the use of plastic bags - they seem to be EVERYWHERE.
On a particularly windy day recently I did happen to look up as the sun was out (at last!) and noticed how many bags were caught up in trees - hanging down as little reminders of how we are getting through SO MANY plastic bags - I did some digging around and got these numbers and hopefully this will be enough to shock just a few of you reading into contributing to this post, doing EVEN more and educating others to make a few changes.
- The average length of 'service' of a plastic bag is twenty minutes!
- They hang around on the planet for approx 500 to 1,000 years before degrading.
- Apparently the average family grocery shop takes 12 to get the job done.
- Over a trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide.
- That requires 120 million barrels of oil!!!
- Based on the recent cost of US$75 approx per barrel that means we spend US$9,000,000,000 (9 billion) a year on oil to produce plastic bags and that is without factoring in the production costs. US$9,000,000,000!!! What a waste of money.
Am curious to find out what you use to do your shopping.
Cityhippy tells me he has added his reusable bags to flickr using the tag: cityhippyshoppingbags (see his images here). Perhaps you could upload pics (using the 'cityhippyshoppingbags' tag) of the reusable bags you shop with and we will then pull them all through in a flickr feed below.
An 'alternative to plastic shopping bags' gallery if you will.
HOT TIP: We find that the trick to avoiding having to use plastic is to keep your alternative bags to hand i.e. in the boot/trunk of your car, so that when you go shopping the bags are always to hand.
Oh yeah and there is a great Squidoo lens on 'How to live without plastic bags' which is worth a visit. Of course checking in with the CityHippy lens @ http://www.squidoo.com/cityhippy will ensure you keep on top of all the cool green lens we find ;)