Ban Plastic Bags in South Florida Supermarkets
Ban Plastic Bags in South Florida Supermarkets
Why this petition matters
When thinking of the catastrophic effects of pollution and plastic, we typically think about the harm done to our environment and wildlife, forgetting that we are a part of our environment and wildlife. Millions of animals ingest plastic that we improperly discard, and humans are included. Micro-plastics have been found in human feces and bloodstreams. A recent study from the Netherlands found that over ¾ of healthy, human blood samples contained masses of plastic. The risks of these plastics are very harmful and possibly lethal. One way to decrease our chances of being intoxicated with these harmful micro-plastics is to greatly decrease the presence of plastic on Earth. This can begin with something as simple as limiting our use of plastic bags. We can ban or place fees on them in supermarkets. We can do our own part by making sure to bring non-plastic, reusable bags.
However, many fail to see the severity of this issue. Many find bringing their own reusable bags to the supermarket to be an unnecessary hassle. A few plastic bags won’t do anything, plus they get recycled, right? Wrong. A single, average, American family will use at least 1,500 plastic bags each year. Only about 9% of plastic goods are actually recycled; Less than 1% of plastic bags end up recycled. Instead, they end up dispersed, through every corner of our lands and seas. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Even if they are recycled, the recycling process can be just as detrimental to our environments. These “harmless” plastic bags are a great danger to our world.
Compared to the mass destruction of the Earth, our ecosystems, and wildlife, it is safe to say that using reusable bags may pose to be much less of a hassle. This seemingly small act has a tremendous impact on the world.
You can do your part by simply rejecting plastic bags for small purchases, like a pack of gum or a bag of pretzels. You can bring your own reusable bags to supermarkets.
We must also battle the root of this immense problem, the producer. Grocery stores feed into this issue by producing and providing us with millions of free plastic bags. Bans, limits, or regulations will greatly decrease the effects of plastic.
South Florida has one of the most diverse and beautiful ecosystems in the world. It is home to countless beaches, estuaries, and marine life. Our native dolphins, sea turtles, and birds end up consuming or strangled by these plastic bags. In a single weekend, Florida beaches can be buried with over 13,000 pounds of litter. Plastic use is a grave danger in Florida. The destruction of its ecosystems leads to the destruction of the state as a whole. Economically, we greatly rely on the Floridian environment. Our coral reefs alone have an asset value of over $8.5 billion. Litter is threatening the prosperity of the state.
Plastic kills over 1 million seabirds, yearly. Entanglement from plastic bags alone, kills an estimated 100,000 marine animals alone.
To create plastic bags in the first place, massive amounts of greenhouse gasses are generated. After being briefly used and discarded, trillions of plastic bags lay in our oceans and landfills, exposed to high temperatures. This causes the plastic to release very dangerous chemicals and gasses into our environments, such as methane and ethylene.
Plastic bags lead to the massive spread of micro-plastics in our world. These particles infiltrate every corner of the Earth, including humans. The average person ingests at least 50,000 plastic particles a year. These particles have been found in a majority of human blood samples and feces. These micro-plastics can release lethal toxins. This leads to numerous health risks, such as harmful immune reactions.
Plastic bag bans in Europe have been prevalent and very successful. In England alone, these bans have decreased plastic bag usage by over 90%. The government of Bangladesh was the first to enact these bans back in 2002. The act has had a domino effect. Countries around the world such as China, Macedonia, Australia, and the U.K. have put these regulations into place. In Australia, these bans have also proven to be successful. The amount of plastic bags going to landfills have been cut by more than ⅓.
Single-use plastic bags must be banned. An option would be for a fee or a tax is placed on each plastic bag in stores. These taxes will typically be redirected back into environmental efforts.
Help create a safe, sustainable, and plastic-free Florida! Sign this petition and spread the word!