It seems perfectly obvious that things which are widely and very effortlessly attainable will also be equally widely and, in the end, carelessly used. This is exactly the reason why plastic bags are such a big part of the plastic waste problem that we are now facing – they are practically everywhere. In both big chain stores and little grocery shops, they are always easy to find, within our reach, ready to be used. And so, when packing our vegetables and fruit in the bags, we rarely stop to think how repetitive and unavoidably wasteful that very action is.
An equally clear response to this problem to avoid unnecessary waste is to ban plastic bags. After all, they are by no means a necessity – at this point, reusable eco-friendly bags are, fortunately, very easy to find and use. In fact, recent results from a plastic bag ban that was put in place in the Netherlands shows that these simple measures are incredibly effective!
As reported by DutchNews.nl, Sharon Dijksma, the junior environment minister, found that Dutch shopkeepers are now handing out much fewer plastic bags and, in total, the use of plastic bags by the retail sector plunged 71 percent!
According to the data, while about 60 percent of the clients of bakeries, butchers, and markets are still willing to pay for a plastic bag, department stores customers who do so are at only 40 percent. The fee also inspired many retailers to switch to paper bags.
Moreover, there was a 40 percent drop in the number of plastic bags thrown out and littering the cities. “Not only are fewer bags being produced,” Dijksma said, “but the ban has led to a tangible drop in the amount of plastic rubbish on the street and in water.”
This fantastic news is a step in the direction of minimizing the amount of plastic trash on the planet. Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic, 8.8 million tons of which ends up dumped into the oceans and fatally threatening the lives of marine animals. Around 700 species are now faced with extinction due to the dangers posed by plastic waste, and if real change isn’t made to lower this number, we stand to lose them forever.
To learn more about this burning issue and what you can do to use plastic less, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
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