The plastic bag ban in Cuyahoga County, where I live, recently went into effect. Even though many people are already using reusable bags, it still caught some shoppers off guard. This was evident by the number of shopping carts with loose groceries I saw in the market parking lot on Monday. Some people are super disgruntled about this new rule and I get it. For years, we’ve gone to grocery stores and have had unlimited access to plastic bags. Not to mention, they come in handy for a variety of needs. But we can’t escape the fact that plastic bags aren’t biodegradable.
It is estimated that each person uses about 83 plastic bags per year–totaling about 500 billion bags worldwide. That’s half a trillion plastic bags that will take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Wow! What’s more, is there’s no real way to dispose of them. Burning plastic releases toxins so that isn’t an option and what usually happens is they end up polluting the ocean. In fact, scientists believe that without drastic changes to our habits, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. So, yes, plastic bags have to go!
Without plastic bags blocking our waterways, we are able to enjoy a healthier ecosystem free of microplastic particles and a cleaner water supply benefits everyone including animals.
If you are like me and want to help create a livable world for future generations, here are a few things you can do:
- Use biodegradable or eco-friendly bags that will biodegrade.
- For food and kitchen needs, try reusable containers and bags.
- Plastic bags cannot be thrown in your curbside recycling bin so instead of throwing them away, research a local plastic bag recycling center in your area to drop them off.
When you know better, you do better so do your part 🙂