Most of us use them every day, the thin plastic bags used by almost every retailer we visit. Whether we’re shopping for groceries or the newest Prada, you can almost guarantee that you’ll be leaving the store with a plastic bag stuffed full of your new goodies.

Then, when you arrive home, you’ll quickly remove them like a kid opening Christmas presents, tossing aside the wrapping with thoughtless abandon. Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to those plastic bags? Has it ever occurred to you just how many of them we go through, individually, in a year?

Learn about International Plastic Bag Free Day

Plastic pollution is a global catastrophe and sadly it is a man-made one. Did you know that approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used on a global scale? Just think about how many of these bags will end up littered all over the planet. This is having an extremely detrimental effect on the environment, wildlife and indeed human health. 

The marine ecosystem in particular is suffering immensely as a result of plastic pollution. 31 species of marine mammals are known to have ingested marine plastic whilst over 100 species of sea birds have ingested plastic artefacts. Over 250 species have become entangled in plastic, whilst entanglement rates of approximately eight percent have been discovered in some sea lion and seal species. 

This pollution is also extremely dangerous because it is leading to the transportation of invasive species, which can have a catastrophic influence on biodiversity. We are not immune from the impact either. Plastic particles in the ocean attract toxins, which in turn affects us, as the toxins enter the food chain.

International Plastic Bag Free Day is dedicated to heightening awareness about these and very real and pressing issues brought about by this most popular of disposable carrying devices. We are reminded that those bags we pick up from the retailers are used for an incredibly short time, usually under 25 minutes, and are then disposed of.

They may pass out of our thinking then, but they do not pass out of our world. Plastic bags remain in the world for anywhere from 100-500 years before finally decaying completely, and have a profound impact upon our environment as a result.

Out in the great reaches of the ocean are massive reefs made up of all sorts of plastic waste, and plastic bags play heavily among them.  Such is the magnitude of the problem that these great floating islands reach hundreds of miles, like great monuments to mankind’s wastefulness, and disregard for the world upon which we live. International Plastic Bag Free Day gives us an opportunity to remind ourselves, and others, that every action we take, and every bag we dispose of, effects the lives of everyone in the world for generations to come.

History of International Plastic Bag Free Day

International Plastic Bag Free Day was created by Bag Free World. It was created as a worldwide initiative for the purpose of getting rid of the single-use of plastic bags around the world. It is all about promoting environmental conservation by encouraging us all to stay away from the use of plastic bags and instead look for more eco-friendly alternatives.

If we can do it on this one date, then we can do it for the rest of the year, right? The day is also important in terms of increasing awareness of the dangers and the harm that is associated with plastic bags in terms of the impact they have on marine life, animal life, and nature. So, it is good to share awareness and use your voice on this date.

How to celebrate International Plastic Bag Free Day

There are a lot of good ways to celebrate, and the easiest requires a simple resolution on your part. Even if just for one day, choose paper over plastic, or even better bring your own bags to the retailers to pick up your goods.  Some stores even offer discounts or other perks for the customers that bring their own! If you own a store yourself, start a program to encourage your customers to bring in their own reusable containers and stop offering plastic bags as an option.

If you want to become even more proactive, then you can head to http://www.plasticbagfreeday.org/ to help organize events, network with other people in your area and around the world who are striving to make a difference, or find an event to volunteer and help with yourself!   There’s also an option to tell a story about a bag free day to your fellow plastic bag free folks!

Among the most popular activities for International Plastic Bag Free Day are simple gatherings of people walking roadways, beaches, and rivers and picking up all the garbage they find there.  A disturbing amount

Everyday millions of plastic bags get disposed of, and without active people like yourself getting involved, the future is going to be dealing with hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic bags clogging oceans, rivers, and the world at large. The problem has reached such proportions that what was once clean sand on the beaches of the world are now being found to be made of composites of natural substances and garbage plastic.

There are many other ways that you can celebrate International Plastic Bag Free Day. One option is to make your own bag. If you take a look online, you will see that there are a lot of different instructions and craft ideas when it comes to making your own bag.

Not only does this ensure that you reduce your use of plastic, but you can also make a unique bag that no one else has. This is the perfect way to show off your style and your individuality. You will also feel proud that you are carrying around a bag that you have made yourself. 

There are other steps you can take to honor this important date. This includes going one step further and recycling all of the plastic you have in your home and office. Don’t only focus on plastic bags. You can also volunteer your money or your time at an environmental organization or charity that is focused on cleaning landmasses and water of plastic bags. There are a lot of great groups out there that are doing amazing work, but they need help, and we are sure they would greatly appreciate any type of assistance that you can give them. 

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