EmFSus.org.au - "Putting the EMPHASIS on Sustainability"

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PLASTIC BAG FACTS

Plastic bags are a wasteful form of packaging that is often not essential.

They are a problem for numerous reasons:

  • Australians use 6.9 billion plastic bags each year.  Tied together they would circle the globe 42 times.
  • Australian dump 3850 recyclable plastic bags into landfill every minute.
  • If every Australian used one less plastic shopping bag each week we would save 253 million plastic bags a year.
  • Each square mile of out oceans has 46, 000 pieces of plastic floating in it.
  • Discarded plastic kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals, including whales, seals, turtles and countless fish each year.
  • Plastic bags are considered to be a ‘free’ commodity.  But it is estimated that $100 million a year was being added to grocery bills to pay for the plastic bags at the check out.
  • As a single use disposable form of packaging, plastic bags are typically used for a short period of time, but can take hundreds of years to break down in landfill.
  • Plastic bags are an extremely visible and unsightly component of litter.  If plastic bags continue to be used, the number of bags littering the environment will increase over time.  It has been estimated that local and state governments around Australia spend more than $200 million per year picking up litter.
  • Plastic bags can block drains and are a major contaminant in kerbside recycling.
  • Since 2002 over 25 billion plastic bags have been used by Australians.  Most of these have been imported.
  • The production of plastic bags accounts for some 20, 000 tonnes of plastic polymer derived from non-renewable resources.  While plastic bags can be recycled only a small proportion of plastic bags are collected and processed.

Info courtesy of Do Something.


Plastic Bags - Just Say NO

In the marine environment plastic bag litter is lethal, killing at least 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year. When you are asked if you would like a plastic bag JUST SAY NO and bring a reusable bag instead.

Across Victoria, communities are undertaking the Plastic Bag Free Challenge to reduce the number of plastic bags they use.
Why do I need to reduce my plastic bag use?
In Australia:
~ Around 80 million plastic bags per year end up as litter in the environment that cost the state and local governments over $200 million a year to pick up.
~ We used around 5.6 billion plastic shopping bags in 2004.
~ Over 200, 000 plastic bags are sent to landfill every hour that can take between 15 and 1000 years to break down.

How can I reduce my plastic bag use?
Just say NO to plastic bags and bring a reusable bag instead!
By remembering to take a reusable bag with you when you go shopping, you are helping to reduce:
the resources used to make single use plastic bags - nine plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car one kilometre!
the amount of waste going to landfill
the possibility of your bag ending up as litter in the environment

Some communities have already achieved a plastic bag free environment...why can't Emerald?

Degradable vs. Biodegradable. It is easy to be confused about which is the right alternative to single use plastic bags. Degradable simply means that the plastic in the bag will breakdown into smaller plastic pieces - which still get caught up in the food chain of our wildlife. Biodegradable means that the plastic will break down into watery-type organic matter. If in doubt, bring along reusable bags!

Reusable bags available include Green Bags, baskets, boxes, paper bags, calico bags, string (usually jute) bags to name a few. Check out the following website also :www.ecosilkbags.com.au for something a bit different!

It is NOT reusable if you leave it at home or in the car!

Information presented:- Courtesy of Sustainability Victoria

It’s in the Bag!

The Emerald Craft and Produce Market is going Plastic Bag Free in 2010 don’t forget to bring your re-useable bags!

Emerald Craft and Produce Market is on the 3rd Sunday of each month.