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Plastic bags are a convenient way to carry our purchased goods when we go shopping. They are a part of our modern lives, and we don’t tend to think much about them. In fact, it is estimated that up to 10 million plastic bags are used every minute around the world.
300 to 700 plastic bags pass through the hands of an average American in just one year and a survey of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs concluded that the average household in the United Kingdom stores around 40 plastic shopping bags at home.
What about you? Do you also have that overflowing kitchen drawer full of plastic bags you bring from your shopping trips?
If the answer is yes, you should know that this inadvertent overconsumption of single-use plastic carries with it a very high cost to the environment, which in turn also negatively affects our health.
How? Well, let’s have a look at the most important reasons why single-use plastic bags should be banned right now.
The first answer to this question that comes to everyone’s mind is to stop using plastic bags, right? Simply, refuse them when offered and bring your own reusable bag when shopping.
These steps are pretty straightforward and depend on your own initiative.
However, we are all too familiar with situations when a cashier automatically puts your items in a plastic bag before you can oppose it.
In many instances, it may seem too awkward for you to refuse the bag, so you accept it this one time, but you should know that it is fine to say no politely even at this stage if you don’t want that bag. The cashier usually understands, only had to do what instructed and what most customers expect (unfortunately) from him or her. We all are just trying to do our job well.
In countries with a lack of awareness about the negative impacts of plastic bags, polite refusal might not be met with much understanding. Then, you should try to explain your reasons for not wanting your products packed in plastic bags.
Most retailers will get your point, but it can also happen that they will not be willing to sell you some products without placing it in their plastic bags because of having to oblige with some hygiene and sanitary standards (for example when selling meat products).
If this happens, there are a few scenarios you can follow: