Presentation on theme: "Plastic Bags an awful load of rubbish. What is the problem? Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute. Australians use."— Presentation transcript:
Plastic Bags an awful load of rubbish
What is the problem? Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute. Australians use more than 10 million new plastic shopping bags every day which equates to 3.92 billion each year.
Clean Up Australia Day statistics Each year, Clean Up Australia Day identifies plastic as the major source of rubbish throughout Australia. One-third of all items collected are plastic, with almost one in 10 of these being plastic bags. This sums up to almost half a million plastic bags we collect each year.
Whats in a plastic bag? There are 2 types of plastic bags: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) bags thin bags used by more than 80% of retailers. These can be easily recycled. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) the thicker bags often used in department and boutique stores. While these bags can be recycled, there are few collection points for recycling.
What types of plastic bags? Be wary of biodegradable and degradable plastic bags: Standards have only recently been developed for biodegradable bags – ask your retailer to show that the bags have passed relevant international standards. Degradable bags just break into smaller pieces and can be even more damaging to flora and fauna.
Whats the effect on the environment? There are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of our oceans. It is estimated that plastic kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year.
We need to see the bigger picture When oil, gas and coal are used to produce plastic bags, they emit dangerous greenhouse gasses. The burning of gasses also creates emissions of toxic gasses, dioxins and heavy metals. Bags escape and float easily in air and water, travelling long distances. When animals which have ingested bags die and decay, the plastic is free again to repeat the deadly cycle. Do dont forget it is not just us that plastic can affect!
What does Clean Up Australia do? CUA lobbies for a complete national ban of single-use plastic bags. SA recently banned lightweight plastic check out bags – CUA urges all Australian states to follow. CUA attends various government meetings including the Environmental Protection Heritage Council and urges government to address the issue of plastic bags.Environmental Protection Heritage Council CUA has a Plastic bag fact sheet which can be downloaded.Plastic bag fact sheet The CUA website includes a comprehensive section on the issue of plastic bags.issue of plastic bags CUA encourages retailers to phase out plastic bags and introduce reusable bags.
So what can you do? You can make a difference just by changing some simple habits: Plastic bags can be returned to supermarkets for recycling, most larger supermarkets recycle bags. Ask for the recycling bin. Green (polypropylene) bags can be recycled at local councils or Coles and Bi-Lo stores OR you can contact your local council to see if they collect or have drop-off points for recycling Councils, schools and community groups can sign up as ambassadors to run bag swaps, design reusable bags and get local shops on board
So what can you do? And here are some simple tips for home : Before recycling, turn bags inside out and remove any receipts and food scraps – contamination can cause problems in production and prevent recycled plastic from being used Avoid using plastic bags as bin liners. Simply put your rubbish straight into your household bin and give the bin a quick rinse afterwards, then reuse the water on your garden. OR: Three layers of broadsheet newspaper as a bin liner can also work well.
What can retailers do? Buy or produce your own reusable bags using our Bag Selector. Materials include paper, calico, polypropylene (green bags), starch-based biodegradable and hemp. Our preferred supplier is Adsun: Ph (07)