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Why Are Countries Banning Plastic Bags?
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Why Are Countries Banning Plastic Bags?

Tags: congo, plastic bags, recyclable

Posted September 13, 2011 by maryzakrasek

The Side of Plastic No One Imagined
Why are countries banning plastic bags?  The answer may surprise you. 

Around the world, there is major environmental pollution being caused by discarded plastic bags which block drainage systems, causing floods and landslides. Another country, the Congo, has just banned the import, sales and use of plastic bags. 

That’s the same reason Bangladesh banned polyethylene bags in 2002…the first country in the world to do so after they blamed the bags for exacerbating the 1998 flood in Dhaka city.

Now, more countries are realizing the worldwide environmental impact of plastic bags. Because the bags do not biodegrade and light breaks them down into smaller and smaller particles they contaminate the soil and water and are ingested by birds and mammals causing their death.

Wangari Mathaai, a 2005 Nobel peace prize winner, has even linked plastic bag litter to malaria in Africa as they can hold rainwater and become breeding grounds for the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

How serious are some countries about their bans?
When South Africa banned bags in 2003, retailers faced fines of $13,800 or a 10-year jail sentence.

Plastic bans now exist in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, parts of India, Italy, Mexico City, and China.

In the US, bans are in San Francisco, California; Westport Connecticut; Edmonds, Washington; and unincorporated cities in Los Angeles County.

Start looking around and you’ll be amazed how much plastic trash there is everywhere…and how much plastic you use every day.

What’s a good solution? Carry a reusable bag with you at all times and keep extras in your car for the times you forget.

Want to see our favorite reusable bags? We like them because they’re durable, lightweight, hold heavy items, chic and feel good to carry.



And, if you live in California, sign-up for California’s Coastal Cleanup Day.
Wherever you live…find out what you can do in your area and let us know how you’re taking action.