A few weeks ago I went food shopping to the supermarket. However, this was no ordinary food shopping, because I literally had to buy everything as I had just moved in to my new apartment. As the cashier was scanning the items I noticed her helper placing all the items in plastic bags and double bagging them. She probably did this anywhere from 15-20 times. As I looked around, other customers were getting their items double bagged as well. I could not believe how many plastic bags were being distributed with no regard to its effect on the environment or the animals that live in it.
In the United States over 100 billion #plastic bags are thrown away every year. Very few are #recycled and the bigger problem is that they are not biodegradable they are photodegradable. According to the consumer website squawkfox.com (Link) most of these bags fly off of trash piles, garbage trucks and landfills. Some of the problems they cause are that they clog storm water sewers, spoil the landscape and they float down waterways into rivers and oceans.
Even the ones that do make it to the landfills it may take them thousands of years for them to break down into smaller toxic particles. Those who are exposed to the sunlight for long enough may undergo some physical breakdown and they will pollute the soil and water supplies. Therefore when they mix with the lake sediments and soil they may get picked up by streams and could end up contributing to oceanic trash deposits.
However, an even bigger problem regarding plastic bags is that they pose a danger to marine life and wildlife in general. Many of these animals mistake these #plastic bags for food. A perfect example is how plastic bags fool sea turtles into thinking that they are their favorite pray jellyfish. According to the consumer website squawkfox.com over hundreds of thousands of animals die each year from choking or swallowing plastic bags (Link).
For all these reasons it would be very important for the people living in United States to start using disposable bags or buckets when going to shop. Is it difficult to maintain? No. Many cities across the United States have already implemented a ban on or some sort of reduction in the use plastic bags. According to treehugger.com some of those cities include Austin, Los Angeles, Brownsville, and Laredo. (Link) Taking reusable bags in your trip to the supermarket is environmentally conscious and I believe it will help recreate the natural environment that once existed before the massive destruction of land fields all over the United States. These are just a few of the good reasons why everyone should recycle plastic bags and choose to go green to save our environment and perhaps our planet.
Finally in order for me to provide some environmental justice, this semester I have chosen to go green by taking reusable shopping bags to the supermarket. Personally this is a way for me to develop, implement, and enforce environmental laws, regulations, and policies. I am sure I will be able to maintain this practice even after this semester is over as I had already been doing it for many years in my hometown city of Brownsville, Texas (Link).