Say NO to plastic bags! Please read and forward!

This is a different kind of post. I am in no way an eco-geek. I am not an activist and I wouldn’t release lab monkeys (with fear of starting up a zombocalypse :P) but PLEASE read this.

Approximately 500 billion up to a trillion plastic bags are consumed every year all around the world. Less than 1% is recycled because it costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. It costs $4,000 to recycle a ton of plastic bags which then can be sold for $32.
According to a 1975 research, ships dispose 8 million livres of plastic every year IN THE OCEAN. Imagine where the number must be now. Plastic bags have been spotted floating even north of the Arctic cycle and south of Falkland Islands and they are 10% of the trash that is washed up on American coastlines. They dissolve with light and break up to smaller and more toxic polymers which then of course pollute the ground and the water. Birds get tangled in them. Over 200 different species of sea creatures confuse them with jelly fish and eat them, resulting in their death.

There is a way to help the situation and it is very simple. If you use a tote bag for your shopping, you save 6 plastic bags per week. This is 24 bags in a month, 288 bags in a year. Approximately 22,176 bags in all of our life!

I am working as a cashier and I can see that people are addicted to plastic bags. They always take more than they need and then of course probably use them for their trash. They even pick a bag for something tiny that fits in their pocket, because that’s what we learned to do. And because plastic bags are free! Check it out the next time you go to the supermarket. If they charge for bags then the plastic ones cost around 0,02 euros while the paper ones cost around 0,40. If 1 in 5 people would refuse to use plastic bags then we could avoid using 1,330,560,000,000 during our lifetime.

Plastic bags are banned (or about to be banned) in Rwanda, Israel, Canada, Bangladesh, West India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, West Africa, Taiwan and Singapore. China has banned them from being given for free. Ireland was the first European country that started taxing plastic bags since 2002. In 8 years they managed to use 90% less plastic bags. San francisco was the first US city to ban plastic bags in 2007 and Boston is also considering banning.

Plastic Bags are made from polyethylene, a kind of plastic made of oil. Less plastic = depending less on oil. China saves 37 million barrels of oil every year just because of the bag banning.

String bags (available from  ) are very useful as they take up no space when empty but expand to tardis-like proportions when full.

Tote bags are also widely available now and you can even get them with a stamp you like on sites like (like

There’s not even need to buy another bag if you’re a woman. I don’t know about you but my handbags usually are big enough to fit 2-3 books or around 10 cds. I NEVER take a bag when shopping if it fits in my bag. Do the same!

Links of interest:

The above text in greek, with pictures.

The above text in English, with pictures.

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