Plastic Bags – Bane of the Earth

Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Turtle Eating a Plastic Bag
Turtle Eating a Plastic Bag
Let's talk about plastic bags. It's something that everybody uses but it's time that we stop using them now.

It's estimated that the world uses 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags a year. In the US alone, they estimate that it takes 12,000,000 million barrels of oil are required to produce the 100 billion plastic bags used each year. (Source: reusablebags.com)

When I used to work at a major outdoor store in Toronto, I was constantly amazed the large numbers of people who requested bags to carry home their freshly purchased knapsack. What's with that? They looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested that they just put it on their back...

It's super important that we start to educate our students about making sure they don't allow plastic bags to get into our waterways. Two articles showed up in the press today about animals ingesting plastic bags and dying slow horrible deaths. Here is one on a giant turtle in Australia and another one about 2 pounds of plastic bags found in a minke whale found dead in the UK.

For those who missed it a couple of months ago, we posted a piece about the so-called, Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It's an area twice the size of Texas that is completely filled with around 3 million tons of floating pieces of plastic.

More info and teaching resources: Plastics in our Oceans and Waterways
Turtle Eating a Plastic Bag
Turtle Eating a Plastic Bag
Let's talk about plastic bags. It's something that everybody uses but it's time that we stop using them now.

It's estimated that the world uses 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags a year. In the US alone, they estimate that it takes 12,000,000 million barrels of oil are required to produce the 100 billion plastic bags used each year. (Source: reusablebags.com)

When I used to work at a major outdoor store in Toronto, I was constantly amazed the large numbers of people who requested bags to carry home their freshly purchased knapsack. What's with that? They looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested that they just put it on their back...

It's super important that we start to educate our students about making sure they don't allow plastic bags to get into our waterways. Two articles showed up in the press today about animals ingesting plastic bags and dying slow horrible deaths. Here is one on a giant turtle in Australia and another one about 2 pounds of plastic bags found in a minke whale found dead in the UK.

For those who missed it a couple of months ago, we posted a piece about the so-called, Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It's an area twice the size of Texas that is completely filled with around 3 million tons of floating pieces of plastic.

More info and teaching resources: Plastics in our Oceans and Waterways
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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