I always feel bad about these plastic bags. I know they are bad for the environment.. but what for?
(Here is some research that I got from The Real Cost of "Free", http://www.reusablebags.com/)
- "Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Turtles think the bags are jellyfish, their primary food source. Once swallowed, plastic bags choke animals or block their intestines, leading to an agonizing death.
- On land, many cows, goats and other animals suffer a similar fate to marine life when they accidentally ingest plastic bags while foraging for food.
- In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water.
- When plastic bags breakdown, small plastic particles can pose threats to marine life and contaminate the food web. A 2001 paper by Japanese researchers reported that plastic debris acts like a sponge for toxic chemicals, soaking up a million fold greater concentration of such deadly compounds as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of the notorious insecticide DDT), than the surrounding seawater. These turn into toxic gut bombs for marine animals which frequently mistake these bits for food.
- Collection, hauling and disposal of plastic bag waste create an additional environmental impact. An estimated 8 billion pounds of plastic bags, wraps and sacks enter the waste stream every year in the US alone, putting an unnecessary burden on our diminishing landfill space and causing air pollution if incinerated."
"The Real Cost of "Free"".<http://www.reusablebags.com/facts.php?id=2> April 2009.
These plastic bags can truly be wasteful and be highly toxic. So ignorant am I to frivolously use these bags without any consideration. Its frightening to think that these toxins contaminate our soil and water, the very essence of our life and resources. What truly is in our water and vegetables? I wonder if they tasted different centuries ago? I'll have to flog about this later.
So, we bought a bunch of canvas grocery bags. I really hope we saved some animals.