Sea Turtles Don't Shop!
Over 100,000 marine animals DIE every year
from PLASTIC entanglement!
Plastic bags are:
- Made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource.
- A serious litter problem since they are lightweight and hard to contain (blow around).
- Non-biodegradable, breaking into smaller particles BUT never fully disappearing.
- Mistaken for food by marine animals (particularly sea turtles).
- One of the most numerous items of litter along with cigarette butts and Styrofoam.
- A major part of waste in our landfills.
"I'm the problem, I'm the solution"
- Bring your own cloth bag.
- Ask for paper bag (holds 5 to 6 times more than a plastic bag).
- Ask your merchant to promote cloth bags (charge for plastic or provide incentives for cloth).
- Encourage development of bags made from natural products such as cornstarch and soy.
- Write your elected officials regarding the hazards of plastic bags.
- Participate in a community/beach cleanup.
Other countries are ahead of the United States in finding ways to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment!
Polythene plastic bags have been banned completely - the government is promoting bags made of jute, a natural fiber.
Individual consumers are required to pay a 15c tax per plastic bag - this has resulted in an estimated 90% reduction in plastic bag use in the first year.
The European Union:
Member countries require manufacturers/producers of plastic bags and other plastic waste to take them back and recycle them.
Taiwan and South Africa:
Both countries prohibit the thinner plastic bags - this encourages people to bring their own bags since retailers can't afford to provide the more expensive, thicker plastic bags for free.
- Buy your drinks in glass or aluminum containers
(75% of aluminum cans are recycled only 36% of plastic bottles)
- Bring your own mug or cup
- Reuse plastic utensils and containers
- Make plastic bags into jump ropes, rugs, and hats
"The leatherback turtle can keep itself warm in cold water, dive over 1000 meters below sea level, travel thousands of miles and gulp down a Portuguese man-of-war but is threatened by the inert plastic shopping bag" - Mrosovky, N. 1987
Plastics, like diamonds, are forever!