Sunday, March 05, 2006
You can make a difference - Tip 2
My friend S. was delighted when she found out her environmentally-friendly tip got so much exposure after part of my post about not leaving the water running got published last Friday in Emirates Today.
So here is Tip 2:
Topic: Plastic bags
Problem: Take up to 20-1000 years to degrade. Escape and float easily in air and water, travel long distances.
Result: Each year, one trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide (over one million per minute) and an estimated 100,000 birds, dolphins, seals and turtles die by mistaking them with food. Not to mention the eyesore as litter.
Tip of the month: Refuse, reuse or recycle! Refuse when buying items small enough to carry by hand, take out, shopping blabla. Reuse for garbage, carrying stuff. Definitely best to use a jute/hemp bag. The perfect accessory for the granny look - I hear it already.
Facts: A turtle mistakes a bag for jellyfish (its primary food source), chokes on it/gets intestines blocked. Interestingly, the dead body biodegrades, the plastic bag doesn't. Instead, it roams around again, tempting another turtle. A serial killer I tell you.
Plastic bags are banned in Bangladesh! (main culprit of 2 severe floodings)
A tax on plastic bags has been introduced in Ireland; consumption has plummeted 90 %.
Again, my oh so wise friend S. made me think. Why is it that we don't have paper bags here? Every time I go shopping at Choitram's, I end up coming home with 4 or plastic bags, big and small. Of course I do not throw them away, I keep them and re-use them, but I now have enough plastic bags to last me a lifetime!
Why don't grocery stores at least give the option to its customers to either pick plastic or paper bags. That could be a first step. And if anything, it would make plastic bag users think about switching to paper bags.
Anyway, from now on, I will try to avoid asking for a plastic bag when I only have a couple of items to carry. I already re-use plastic bags. I don't know about the jute/hemp bag....not because of a fashion statement, mostly because I doubt I'll remember to carry a hemp/jute bag with me when I go grocery shopping.
But I'll try S. I promise.