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International Plastic Bag Free Day
International Plastic Bag Free Day, celebrated on July 3rd, is a great opportunity to reflect on how many plastic bags we use daily. Global pollution of the planet’s ecology with plastic waste is a big problem that continues to grow. About 500 billion plastic bags are still used in the world every day, most of which are not disposed of in any way.
For a long time, people did not use disposable items due to economy, but after the industrial revolution, plastic became a reliable and affordable resource. Plastic bags began to be created in large quantities during the Second World War, but this was done secretly and for the British army. In 1965, Celloplast of Sweden introduced the polyethylene shopping bag to the world, and over time it quickly began to replace bags made from other materials. In 1979, plastic bags appeared in the United States.
Sailor and scientist Charles Moore in 1997 found the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the largest accumulations of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, which poses a real threat to marine life. It turned out that plastic bags floating in the water kill the turtles that eat them because they mistake the bags for jellyfish. Bangladesh was the first country in the world to ban plastic bags in 2002. In this country, bags played a key role in blocking drainage systems, leading to catastrophic flooding. Soon the ban on plastic bags appeared in Italy, South Africa, China, Australia, Rwanda and several other countries.
International Plastic Bag Free Day was born to encourage people to look for safer alternatives to plastic. This national day is part of the Free Plastic Movement, which began in 2016 and has over 1,500 organizations to join.
On the occasion of the International Plastic Bag Free Day, the following facts should be remembered:
- According to the EPA, human-made plastic will take at least 1,000 years to decompose;
- in 2017, India banned the sale of not only plastic bags, but also cutlery, cups, plates;
- Today, plastic makes up 75% of all marine litter.
How to celebrate
Plastic bags and other things with plastic have become so firmly established in our lives that we do not notice how we buy them. At the International Plastic Bag Free Day, you should try to reduce the use of plastic bags, and if they are, then reuse them or take them to a recycling center. It is necessary to draw the attention of other people to the problem of environmental pollution with plastic, and for this, for example, you can watch the films “A Plastic Ocean” and “Bag It” with friends and family.
When is International Plastic Bag Free Day celebrated in 2022?
International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed on July 3 each year.