We live in an age of convenience. There is, however, a price to pay for it. Can you imagine a world without plastic bags? And yet, plastic bags, which are so much more common here in Turkey than in the US, are a real environmental problem.
Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide while the remainder can be around for centuries. It costs $4,000 to process and recycle a ton of plastic which can then be sold on the commodities market for… only $32, according to Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment. Once they are thrown away, the plastic bags are dumped in landfills or still worse in the seas and oceans.
According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic.
The Environmental Protection Agency in the US released data that shows that somewhere between 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Imagine that. Now imagine that these relatively trivial products of convenience will survive you by perhaps a couple thousand years.
So, should we simply throw up our hands and give up? Well, you could or you can decide to be part of the solution. The photos below (provided by http://plasticbagbag.com) show one potential answer.
By using many bags to make one tote and by shopping with this re-usable tote-bag each time you go to the market, you will not be adding to the problem and you will be taking used plastic bags out of circulation.