Plastic Bag Free Day is a global initiative that aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags around the world. It is celebrated every year on the 3rd of July and plastic pollution fighters all around the world come together to raise awareness and get one step closer to building a future which is completely free from plastic. The best way to eliminate single-use plastic bags is to ban them when they pose an imminent threat. Did you know that plastic bags are used for around 25 minutes on average, but take between 100 to 500 years to disintegrate? Let me convince you to make single-use plastics a thing of the past in your life today!
Plastic is made from fossil fuels which take millions of years to form. We extract oil or gas from the land or sea and transport it to a ‘cracker’. Crackers are plants that use huge amounts of heat and pressure to break fossil fuels into the molecules that form polymers and are used to create plastics. When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and are therefore large contributors to global warming.
Plastic Toxins & Food
Studies have shown that certain chemicals in plastic leaches into your food and drinks. Some of these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as obesity and reduced fertility. They mimic hormones such as oestrogen which are essential for the body to regulate itself.
These chemicals are more likely to leach from containers when heated up so avoid this as much as possible.
It just doesn’t make sense for us to use something that takes up to 500 years to decompose. The reason it takes so long for plastic to decompose is that these materials do not occur naturally in nature. There are no naturally occurring organisms that can break them down.
Save The Animals
Litter can harm wildlife, marine life and even domestic pets. Plastic waste can easily be mistaken for food which then can get lodged in the throats of wild animals causing them to get serious injuries which they are unable to recover from. In India, 20 cows die every day because they have eaten plastic bags. More recently, animals have been getting caught up in disposable masks. Experts are advising us to snip the strings off the masks even if you are putting them into the bin.
Ways To Avoid Single-Use Plastic
- Buy a tote bag and save some money by not buying 5p plastic bags
- Stop using plastic straws when you order a drink – instead you can now buy reusable straws that you can throw in your bag and always have with you
- Don’t buy plastic water bottles
- Don’t use disposable razors
- Buy sustainable clothing
By Pooja Depala