Sunday, 1 February 2009

Save earth.

Stop plastic bag usage.

It was my spring cleaning day.
So i decided to start off with the laundry cum store room and the kitchen cabinet.

I cant believe how many pieces of paper and plastic bags accumulated from various shopping trips i had. All type of sizes; from small, to medium, to big and to extra extra big.

Like most people I have been reusing the hypermarket grocery plastic bags for my kitchen waste, bathroom and other trash can liners up to the extend to storing dirty cloth diapers when we were out of the house.

I still remember those time when i was still in my primary years, following my mother to the neighbourhood sundry shop. As far as i can remember she would usually carry home simple brown paper bag home instead of plastic bag. Unlike now, i could not recall when actually the era of the brown bag being taken over by plastic.

I love shopping and even love it more if given paper bag instead of the plastic one.

In fact while I was back in my home country I have had this discussion on trying to promote the usage of paper bags with the help of the local ministry. Nevertheless, due to lack of studies and not enough details together with being occupied with on-going businesses, the idea was just an idea.

It is my dream to want to see paper bag being use widely. I would also want to experience being treated like ordinary person when i bring my own cloth bag while shopping for grocery and not attract strange looks from the others.

Of course we have to be realistic. Totally eliminating the usage of plastic bags are ridiculous. Consumer products in this decade uses more plastic than other material. Name it and most of it will be wrapped in that substance.

We still need it to put away our daily rubbish. We can't be using paper bag to do so. The key word is moderation.

Plastic as we all know are made of oil. It is non-biodegradable and will take 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. Our favourite fizzy drink can of cola or juices in aluminium can would need more or less 100 years to biodegrade.While plastic milk cartons will break down in 5 years.

But paper will only require 2-5 months to biodegrade.

The effort in banning plastic bags have been quite evident in countries such as US and Australia while the United Kingdom is taking effort in cutting the usage of plastic bags by 25%. The time has come for us to start changing our way of life i.e.; the usage of plastic bags and being too dependable on them.

Besides saving the world in the long run, which many of us, including me who initially don't care much what will happen in 100 years from now, the reasons why we need to eliminate the plastic bag is purely because it come from oil. Oil is the main substance of plastic bag thus increasing CO2 emissions. Which will later have an affect to the greenhouse gases that are vital in helping determine the temperature of the Earth.

Without it the world that we are living now would likely be so cold to the extend unable to be lived on. Although many factors such as the sun and the water cycle are responsible for the Earth's weather and energy balance, if all else was held equal and stable the planet's average temperature should be considerably lower without greenhouse gases.
(The gases function in an atmosphere is to absorb and emit radiation within the
thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.)

Many of us might not be aware that plastic bags also causes unnecessary costs that we have to pay. It is not safe for infant or children if they play with it, it kills wild life and even can kill sea living creatures if they got entangled with discarded plastic bags.

The most interesting effort in eliminating the usage of plastic bags was one moves by Whole Foods in the US when they announce plans to stop offering disposable, plastic grocery bags in all 270 stores in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom from April last year (to commemorate the Earth-day) until end of 2008.

According to the company's spokesperson during that stop-plastic-bag day; roughly 100 million plastic bags will be kept out of the environment.
They offered several options: free paper bags in four sizes made from 100% recycled paper, reusable bags 80% made from recycled plastic bottles for 99 cents and canvas bags selling for $6.99 to $35.
They also encourage consumers to bring their own bags by taking 5 cents to 10 cents off the bill for each.

I wonder when will we start here.....
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