Plastic bags may seem like a grocery shopping convenience, but they are also a huge strain on the environment. It can take up to 500 years for plastic bags to disintegrate, so they make up a large portion of what stays in our landfills and pollutes our waterways. Lots of people are aware of this problem, but don’t do enough to try to solve it.
It’s time to take action! International Plastic Bag Free Day is a day to go without plastic bags and raise awareness about the negative environmental impact that single-use plastic bags have on the planet. It is observed through a conjunction of organizations looking for solutions to solve the pollution crisis we’re currently facing. International Plastic Bag Free Day looks for safer alternatives to demonstrate that a world without the use of so much plastic is possible. International Plastic Bag Free Day is now part of the Break Free from Plastic Movement.
The Break Free from Plastic Movement began on September 2016 and has been joined by nearly 1,500 different organizations. The movement is looking for solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, to make the planet safer for humans, the environment and wildlife. The Break Free from Plastic Movement believes that the principles of the world are environmental justice, social justice, public health, and human rights lead government policy, not the demands of elites and corporations.
The use of plastic can go back decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that its significant impact has been demonstrated. Plastic is everywhere, it is poisoning our environment, our plants, our animals and our living areas. It is causing detrimental damage to the Earth and new solutions to this problem must arise. The seas are being polluted with garbage, making it hard for marine life to survive. Our plants are being poisoned and our environment is becoming unlivable.
History of plastic bags
1933: The common plastic material called Polyethylene is invented.
1953: A stronger material is created (high density polyethylene/HDPE).
1965: The Swedish company Celloplast invented the current plastic bag used today.
1980: The Dixie Bag Company begins manufacturing and marketing plastic bags.
1982: Grocery chains Kroger and Safeway replace paper bags with plastic, thus subsequently making other departments follow suit.
Plastic Pollution: How Humans are Turning the World into Plastic