Thursday, January 7, 2010

Until Plastic Bags are banned ---

History of Plastic Bags - Fifty years ago plastic bags, starting first with the sandwich bag, were seen in the United States as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the paper bag. Now an estimated 180 million plastic bags are distributed to shoppers each year. Made of filmy plastic they are hard to recycle and easily blow into trees and waterways where they are blamed for killing marine life. They also occupy much-needed landfill space.

Since then we have discovered that what started out to be a great idea has now become an environmental menace. For a more detailed timeline history of the plastic bag, I found this in my search:

About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, according to Vincent Cobb, founder of

Why should plastic bags be banned? There are so many countless reasons, just do a google search and you'll find enough reasons. The biggest reason for me is about 100,000 animals such as dolphins, turtles whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bags. Many animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and therefore die. And worse, the ingested plastic bag remains intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal. Thus, it lies around in the landscape where another victim may ingest it.

Last year, more than 354,000+ bags -mostly plastic - were collected during an international cleanup of costal areas in the United States and 100 other countries, according to the Ocean Conservancy. Plastic bags were the fifth most common item of debris found on beaches.

Here's more interesting reading I discovered on the harm it does:

With all that we know of the harmful affect plastic bags have on our environment - the saturation of our landfills and not to mention what it does to animals - I ask, what are we doing to remedy this proverbial hole we have dug for ourselves??

Well, several countries have banned or taken action to crack down on the use of plastic bags. A few of the countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan. Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, also has banned the bags.

Also, during a recent visit to Canada, Canadians as well were serious about recycling. We made multiple trips to the grocery store and I pleasantly observed patrons carrying their own grocery bags into the grocery store. Some were cloth and some were plastic bags that were being re-used.

All this is reason enough why I am definitely in favor of plastic bags being banned. However, until that happens, my primary crafting will continue to be with plastic bags. My ultimate objective is to keep as many plastic bags out of the landfill as I possibly can....

I'm not alone in this endeavor. There are several excellent shops on Etsy as well that craft primarily with plastic.

Let me ask you this, do you know or realize how many plastic bags are used just to crochet or knit one market bag?? Approx 40 to 50. I can't even begin to tell you over the years how many plastic bags I've kept out of the landfill from what I've made as gifts, charity items, etc..

Just think of how many plastic bags each shop alone on Etsy have kept out of the landfill - either plastic yarn or plastic fusion.

I also think these shops should be commended for their efforts. So, over the next several months I will be doing a feature on each of them displaying their beautiful creations. This will let you get to know who they are and what they are all about.

Here a just a few of those shops that will I be featuring:

Do me this favor, please check back soon because I don't want you to miss it!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! It is so cool that you are making useful products out of recycled things.