You find them scattered everywhere, even where you shouldn't. Plastic bags are slowly destroying all that is life. Did you know that on average they are used for a very short time (about 11-12 minutes) but that the environment needs at least 200 years to dispose of them? Carelessly thrown along the roads or on the beaches, they are causing really huge damage to the subsoil, to the sea waters and to the living beings that populate them.
In 2009, to raise public awareness, the Marine Conservative Society introduced the World Plastic Bags-Free Day held on 12 September. The goal is to spread awareness about the damage caused by the use of plastic bags and the convenience of embracing more sustainable behaviors, such as the use of reusable bags.
Plastic bags and the environment
Plastic bags are part of our daily life. Compared to paper ones, they are undoubtedly much more resistant and not subject to tearing. They facilitate the transport of food shopping, various purchases, as well as household garbage. However, while apparently harmless, light and subtle, they are slowly destroying our Planet.
Man's distraction and neglect too often cause them to end up abandoned on the coasts and in the sea. How many times on social media or on TV do we see truly shocking images of plastic materials (not just bags) found in the stomachs of cetaceans, turtles and sea birds? Each of us can make a difference and change things.
The legislation on plastic bags
The European Union has issued a decree banning plastic (and consequently bags too) starting from January 2021. In response, many companies and corporations have decided to use compostable alternatives based on the criteria of the UNI EN 13432: 2002 standard and use recoverable packaging.
In Italy, since January 2018 the law 91/2017 came into force, that provides for the use of food bags exclusively in compostable material and not in plastic. The service provided has a cost of a few cents charged to the consumer, for the recovery of the costs incurred for production.
No to plastic bags
You know, unity is strength. On September 12th (but why not forever ?!) don't ask for the plastic bag at the supermarket checkout or in the shops. Instead, take envelopes made of fabric or other washable/reusable material. They are practical, resistant alternatives, some even aesthetically beautiful or customizable! In case you forget them at home, check that the bag that will be given to you is compostable. You can recognize it by the symbol that certifies its biodegradability.
If you have some plastic bags accumulated during your previous purchases at home, don't throw them away, but always carry them with you: incredibly resistant, it will be useful for storing your groceries. Just think that, unless it gets holes, its robustness in the environment lasts up to 200 years. For us, our whole life will surely be enough and the environment will thank you!