Let’s talk about plastic – not the flexible friend that beautiful shoes are bought with, but the bag variety.
It is estimated that 1.6 billion single use bags are used by New Zealanders every year. Globally the number is estimated between 500 billion – 1 trillion, each bag used on average for only 12 minutes! But what happens to these bags? The sad fact is that plastic will always be plastic. Most single use plastic bags will not biodegrade, instead they photodegrade, breaking into smaller toxic pieces. This process can take between 400-1000 years, as it happens the plastic particles contaminate the soil and are carried to our waterways, where they are often ingested by marine life.
Floating in the South Pacific Ocean, there is a patch referred to as ‘The Plastic Soup’ and ‘Plasticmania’ it is said to be approximately twice the size of the United States, or eight times the size of New Zealand! The patch is 80% plastic….New Zealand has some of the most pristine beaches in the world, and unique marine life, fish and seabirds. But particles of The Plastic Soup are starting to wash up on our beaches – scary stuff when it’s this close to home!
The only way to stop the large amount of plastic ending up in landfill is to stop the use of plastic bags and change the attitudes and reliance that we have upon them.
Most local councils and the Green Party in New Zealand have signed up to support a plastic bag levy of up to 15c to be added to sales of every plastic bag. We are obviously a concerned nation, as 65% of New Zealanders support the tax.
The Bag Ladies feel saddened and shocked that this is happening to the place we love, and that ourselves, children and grandchildren will grow up in. Removing the reliance on plastic can start today, like us, you can ditch the plastic and feel fantastic knowing you are doing something that is going to create so much good!