International Plastic Bag Free Day

When did you last head to the shops, forget your reusable bag in the car and dump the shopping into a couple of plastic bags? Seems like a pretty innocent thing to do, but plastic bags are quickly devastating the worlds natural resources and environments. Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year but although most of those are only used for an average of 20 minutes, each bag can take between 500 and 1,000 years to decompose.

International Plastic Bag Free Day (www.plasticbagfreeday.org) is celebrated each year on July 3rd. This year the campaign calls on people to no longer hide behind excuses, but rather to take responsibility and put an end to single-use plastic bags. The 2017 motto is #EnoughExcuses because by joining together, a world free from plastics pollution is possible.

Oak Foundation’s Environment Programme (www.oakfnd.org/environment) is passionate about eliminating plastic usage to help protect the worlds environment, and particularly our oceans. Without doubt, a continued increase in the use of plastic will become an overwhelming ecological problem for ecosystems, coastal communities, cities, fishermen and the tourism industry. “What is needed is radical transformation”, says Stephen Campbell, a programme officer with the Environment Programme, “and the implementation of deep systemic change at all levels”. Oak Foundation supports several organisations working tirelessly to end plastic usage including but not limited to, Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance (www.no-burn.org), Upstream (www.upstreampolicy.org), Ellen MacArthur Foundation (www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org) and The Story of Stuff Project (www.storyofstuff.org).

There are many ways to get involved in International Plastic Bag Free Day this year. Share your feelings about single-use plastic bags using the hashtags #EnoughExcuses and #BantheBag, call your local environment minister demanding action and/or take a look at this excellent video (https://youtu.be/ayBfe1nZVsE) about common excuses regarding plastic bags around the world. 

What are your excuses to keep using single-use plastic bags?

 

Virginia Ruan