Plastic bags are one of the most invasive and long-lasting concepts we’ve started using as humans. They’re everywhere. Grocery stores, big box stores, hotels, restaurants, you name it and there is probably a plastic bag involved to some extent in almost everything we do. So, what’s the big deal? Right? Why should we care that we use plastic bags?
Well, for starters, they’re fairly lightweight and blow just about any and every direction. Katy Perry even references it in a song. So let’s take a potential journey with a singular plastic bag. Okay, so they can end up virtually anywhere, and usually will in time end up in some sort of body of water, where the wind can’t swift it off to locations unknown. Now, it’s in the water. In the way of that ecosystem, and endangering the lives of those inhabitants. Whether that be trapping an animal, blocking currents, etc. Now, the worst part of all. Most studies are showing that a plastic bag will not decompose for 1,000 years. What was going on 1,000 years ago?
Well, the feudal system was in full effect. Cnut the Great was king of England. And I’m not sure about you, but that’s a name that doesn’t even sound remotely of the royal family we’re all familiar. Now imagine if they were using plastic bags back then, would it have been as prominent? Or if they would’ve known it was an issue, or how to solve it? The globalization and communication of that era and most eras up until now were just not as connected. But let’s say as a species, we did start using plastic bags way back then. Well, we’d still be seeing plastic bags from before Shakespeare was even born. Let that sink in. The trash before the Elizabethan era of England would still be floating around the world. Now, multiply that through the years and it’s a pretty trashy planet.
Now we know. And now we’re connected. Now we can say, hey, you over there-we’re getting a lot of plastic bags with your brands on them, might wanna tone it down. We’re not, but we should be. We also have exceptional methods of documentation that allow us to capture memories and create content anywhere. With those devices, we’ve seen some incredible and touching moments, and we’ve also seen some truly heartbreaking things. I won’t show you a picture of a turtle having surgery to remove a plastic bag from his stomach, but I will reference it. Because it is an extremely dangerous thing and it’s happening more and more often. It’s time we started packing our own multi-use and eco-friendly cloth bags at the stores. They’re inexpensive and reusable. It’s a win-win for all involved.