© 2017 Plastic Free Peg

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Plastic Shopping Bags

The Problem
  1. Plastic bags are extremely lightweight and can act like balloons blowing out of garbage trucks and landfills.  These flyaway bags litter our parks and trees, enter drains and can eventually end up in rivers and oceans where they break into small, toxic pieces. These bags can block drainage systems that can cause floods.  The toxic micro-plastics can get into our food chain and into our bodies causing hormonal harm.
     

  2. Animals and fish may mistake plastic bags for food (such as a turtle thinking it is a jelly fish).  The plastic bags can get stuck in their intestines and actually block food from getting absorbed, eventually causing the animal to die a slow death (from starvation or suffocation).
     

  3. The energy and non-renewable resources to make the bags contribute to climate change.

    • The majority of plastic bags are made of polypropylene (petroleum and natural gas - non-renewable fossil fuel based resources).  The greenhouse gases created from the extraction and production process contribute to global climate change.

    • The typical useful life of each plastic bag is about 12 minutes (5Gyres.org).
       

  4. Currently in Winnipeg, plastic shopping bags are unable to be recycled in our blue bins as they clog up the recycling sorting machinery. However there are programs in the city of  Winnipeg that do recycle plastic bags (Bag Up Manitoba and Take Pride Winnipeg).
     

The Most Sustainable Solution

A Reusable Bag

  • Cloth Reusable Bags are the most sustainable option for grocery and shopping bags.  Cloth bags can be created by upcycling old clothes or blankets. They are stronger, can be personalized, are reusable and can be washed.

 

Other Options
  1. Not using a bag.  We have hands, let's use them!

  2. Paper Bags. Remember to Reuse.

  3. Any type of Bags that can be reused.

  4. Compostable Bags.

  5. Implementing a Bag Tax to help reduce the use of plastic bags.

  6. Boxes or Containers.