International No Plastic Bag Day: how to replace plastic bags to preserve the environment
Since 2008, Spain has been celebrating International Plastic Bag Free Day every July 3. This initiative, supported by the Zero Waste Europe collective, reminds us of the disastrous consequences of plastic bags for the environment. Did you know that in Europe, over 8,000 billion plastic bags end up in the environment every year, out of a total of almost 90 billion used?
That's why we want to make you aware of this problem and present biodegradable, reusable and plastic-free alternatives to plastic bags. Together, we can help preserve nature. Here are a few options to consider.
Why plastic bags are so polluting
Did you know that the majority of plastic materials polluting the oceans are plastic bags? For decades, these bags have been used and discarded with little regard for their impact on the environment and our health. Although measures have been taken to reduce their use, plastic bags are still present in many places.
One of the reasons for their harmfulness lies in the amount of energy needed to produce them, given that they are mainly composed of petroleum derivatives. What's more, these bags are often thrown into the environment, polluting spaces and ecosystems. They can also be ingested by marine animals such as whales and dolphins, with serious consequences for their health.
What about biodegradable or compostable bags?
Biodegradable bags seem to be an interesting alternative, but they often contain additives that promote their industrial degradation. Their decomposition in the environment is therefore fairly slow, generating microplastics that contaminate the food chain and end up on our plates.
As for compostable bags, they require very specific industrial composting conditions to degrade. This means that they are not suitable for domestic decomposition and do not fully meet our needs.
The best alternatives to plastic bags
There are many ways to reduce our consumption of plastic bags and protect the environment.
Cloth bags: Cloth bags are an excellent alternative for everyday shopping. Simply carry them in your handbag or in the boot of your car.
Supermarket cart: The supermarket cart is a classic for transporting shopping without the need for plastic bags. It can last up to 15 years.
Safflower baskets: Safflower baskets are a traditional, environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic bags. They have been used for many years for shopping in local stores.
Cotton bags: Cotton bags are biodegradable and reusable. They are a more sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bags.
Mesh bags: Mesh bags, often used for fruit-picking, are another reusable, environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic bags.
By adopting these alternatives, we can reduce our consumption of plastic bags and help preserve the environment. It's up to us to make a difference, one action at a time.