A great deal of research has gone into the problem of pollution-by-plastic that has become a menace to the environment in the last half-century or so. Probably the worst offender is the flimsy plastic carrier bags that a majority of retailers provide for their customers’ convenience. Those bags more often than not end up littering ditches, blocking drains and ultimately poisoning water and wildlife.
These plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to finally disintegrate into their original components, and as they do they release toxins that poison the soil, waterways and oceans. Current research indicates that only about one to three percent of the billions used are recycled, and their usefulness lasts on average for about 12 minutes – the time it takes to get from place of purchase to emptying the bag.
The obvious solution is re-useable and/or biodegradable carrier bags. One such bag can replace about 1,000 plastic ones if it’s used as intended. The benefits are substantial, and not just for the environment.
Further research has shown that businesses offering recycled or otherwise environmentally friendly carrier bags generally get a higher approval rating from customers, which translates into more business.
The main point here is that environmentally friendly bags are affordable; in fact in the long run they are much cheaper than non-degradable plastic. They tend to promote awareness and conservation in consumers, which in turn contributes to a cleaner environment overall.
People also tend to forget they have eco-friendly bags available, or don’t want to bother carrying them around. It will be a huge boon to our environment if more and more businesses join the green movement, and more and more consumers demand (and remember to use) environmentally friendly carrier bags from the businesses they patronise.