01/30/09 Shopping without Free Bags
The first commercial chain to abolish the free distribution of plastic bags
- On January 31, 2009, Spar abolishes free plastic bags
With the support of many other organizations and citizens, Animal Friends has launched a campaign to ban plastic bags. A significant step in that process is the ban of free distribution of plastic bags.
Spar is the first commercial chain in Croatia that has taken this praiseworthy step and on January 31 abolished free plastic bags for ecological reasons. Shoppers are now left with the choice of bringing their own bag or buying a reusable one Spar has in its offer.
Animal Friends expects that other commercial chains will soon follow the example of Spar, which has demonstrated great ecological awareness by launching this initiative, appreciated by many of its customers.
Hundreds of thousands of animals die each year because of discarded plastic bags, either by mistaking them for food and eating them or by getting entangled in them. Plastic bags disintegrate for decades into smaller pieces and eventually end as plastic particles of dust, which pollute the environment. Each year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are discarded worldwide.
Recycling of plastic bags is expensive and complicated. Only about 1% of bags are recycled. Even an increased recycling of plastic bags would not solve the problem of their uncontrolled production, which spends vast quantities of natural resources and emits toxic chemicals into the environment.
It is necessary to return to our old habits of carrying our own bags and baskets, in order to make one big step forward in protecting our environment and saving many animals from suffering and painful death. Only together we can reduce the usage of plastic bags and prompt the usage of materials that are not harmful for the environment.
The campaign to ban plastic bags was launched by Animal Friends, supported by organizations such as Centre for Composting, Eko Kvarner, Eco Initiative, PCAP International, Blue World, Consumer, Green Action, The Greens of Dalmatia, Green Istria, and Green Osijek. So far, more than 20,000 people from all of Croatia have signed the petition against plastic bags.
The Chinese government has already banned the free distribution of plastic bags. The same regulation was issued in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as in South Africa, Ireland, and Israel.