‘What is the big deal with single use plastics?’ I hear your perplexed voice ask. ‘Why do plastics continually get such a bad rap?’
‘They are all biodegradable and breakdown, eventually don’t they?’
Great questions! Plastics are a huge deal in our world today and they deservedly get a bad rap. Let’s have a look at the facts…
Plastics take FOREVER to biodegrade.
The truth is plastics don’t break down quickly or decompose easily at all or by any stretch of your imagination.
It can take some plastics up to 1000 years to break down and decompose completely. A plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to degrade, while a plastic bread bag can take up to 10 years (under the right circumstances) in other cases more.
This leads to a volume issue.
With the eye-watering volume of plastics being produced each year, single use plastics make a huge contribution to land fill. Around 300 million tonnes per year, worldwide. More than 8 million tonnes of this are reported to be dumped in our oceans. That’s a lot of plastic that takes a lifetime or two to break down.
Also, being light weight, plastics can often travel surprisingly long distances on just a puff of wind if they aren’t stored correctly or contained properly. This spreads the problem over a wide area.
What it means for the environment.
Quite apart from the volume of land fill that plastics contribute to, and the space they are occupying for the long term, they also leech harmful chemicals into the earth and underground water supplies as they degrade.
Plastics can also cause nasty problems for animals who might mistake a piece of plastic for food and eat it. They can choke these animals or make them seriously or fatally ill due to the toxins that they hold.
Even if they are not eaten, our native animals can get wrapped up in plastics, strangling them or preventing them from being able to move as they normally would.
This is a problem particularly in our oceans and severely affects our marine animals.
We haven’t even considered the damage caused to the environment through the manufacturing process. That is another story all together. These plastics are causing a very sobering and serious problem. But there is a solution…
What can we do?
After all that doom and gloom, there is some good news. There is something we can do. And it’s very simple and very easy.
We can swap our single use plastics for reusable alternatives. Net grocery bags. Cloth bakery bags. Reusable bread bags.
Socially and environmentally responsible companies such as Aussie Bread Bags are committed to providing you with alternatives to single use plastics. Giving you options to help you reduce your plastic footprint, and the damage it can cause. Helping to create a cleaner, more sustainable world.
Take the first step. Buy your reusable bread bag and make the first switch today.