Plastic bag bans becoming popular around the world

You often see them wafting in the breeze in a public park or clogging the drains on the side of the road, but plastic bags may have seen the end of their utility in some areas of the world. According to the Star-Telegram, countries such as Italy and France have already enacted plastic bag bans, opting for biodegradable bags instead. And even in the town of Bellingham, Washington, town officials not only banned plastic bags, but have put a fee on paper bags as a means of encouraging residents to use reusable shopping bags.

While plastic bags do hold myriad uses around the home, in reality the cost of recycling and the potential waste produced by these materials far outweigh their utility. According to the California-based Earth Resource Foundation, a person uses about 130 plastic bags per year and close to one trillion are used worldwide for people to ferry their groceries from the store to their homes.

Plastic bags have served their purpose for many years, but the problem lies with consumers placing them into the regular garbage or allowing them to end up in the environment. Since it will take close to 1,000 years to fully break down, a plastic bag can be a significant burden on the environment that can pose a danger to wildlife. Consumers should be sure to collect all of their used bags and bring them to the appropriate receptacle at their nearest grocery store or placed directly in your recycling bin.

With a little extra effort and a switch to reusable bags, communities the world over are doing their part to reduce waste and switch to more sustainable everyday products.