International Plastic Bag Free Day

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Every year, the International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed on 3rd July in an effort to raise awareness about the pressing issue of plastic pollution on the planet. As plastic poses a serious threat to the natural environment, including land and marine life, today is an important day because future generations are at risk.

 

The main purpose of the day is to highlight the increasing harm that non-biodegradable materials cause to our environment. The collaborative effort over the last 10 years has radically reduced the impact, but it is alarming to know that a plastic bag takes 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill.

 

Plastic waste is dumped in landfills and proves harmful to the marine creatures if it gets washed into oceans. The day aims to draw attention towards such harmful effects, as it takes around 100-500 years for a plastic bag to decompose.

 

International Plastic Bag Free Day goes back to July 3, 2008, when it was started by a member of Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) Rezero. In its very first year of establishment, the day was only marked in Catalonia. However, a year later, the International Plastic Bag Free Day was launched in the European Union, by ZWE.

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Their impactful campaigns were developed over the years, but the organisation was able to push several nations to start taking measures toward reducing the use of single-use plastic later. In 2015, the European Union enacted the plastic bag directives, with an aim to take measures in such a way that by 2018, the plastic bag consumption can be reduced to 90 bags per person.

 

Further, the directive aims to bring this number down to 40 plastic bags per person by 2025.

 

The main aim of International Plastic Bag Free Day is to create awareness about the harm that we are causing to our environment by continuous use of single-use plastics.

 

Items made out of single-use plastics contaminate our water bodies. Spilling plastics into rivers, oceans and seas poses huge threat to the marine life. Many aquatic animals die because of eating micro plastics which are thrown in water bodies by humans.

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International Plastic Bag Free Day is a result of a worldwide initiative by Bag Free World, reported National Today. It was only after 1997 when the Great Plastic Patch was discovered in the ocean that the harm of plastics started to be discussed during the public discourse. But it took until 2002 for the first nation to ban plastics. It was Bangladesh that instituted the first single-use plastic ban after it was found that plastics clogged up storm drains worsening floods and waterlogging down in the country.

 

The International Plastic Bag Free Day aims also to create awareness about the potential millennia of harm that the continuing use of single-use plastics would bring to planet earth. From contaminating our water systems and soil as plastics degrade into microplastics to polluting rivers, oceans and water bodies across the world, plastics are ruining the planet. While many supporters of plastics point out that these items can be recycled, the reality is that less than 10 percent of plastic is recycled. The process of recycling plastics is complicated and has far more logistical problems than completely phasing out single-use plastics in the first place.

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The common types of plastics are –

1) Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)

2) High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

3) Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or Vinyl)

4) Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

5) Polypropylene (PP)

6) Polystyrene (PS or Styrofoam)

 

Let us all join hands together and make

Every day to be Earth Plastic Free Day.

Avoid single-use plastic bags.

If you go shopping, bring your own cloth bag or paper bag.

Plastic is an abomination!

Use paper bags instead of plastic bags.

If You’re ‘fantastic’, Do Something ‘dramatic’ To Cut The ‘Plastic’, Use ‘Paper Bags’.

Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle Plastic Bags

Instead, Renew, Reuse And Recycle Paper Bags.

Make a pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic bags. Switch to paper bags and avoid plastics.

 

Thank you

Tpl Rekiyat Ahuoiza Fache

SA on Environment and Climate Change to the Hon Minister of State,FCT




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