04/17/09 Cotton Bags Instead of Plastic Ones

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Two organizations, Animal Friends and ViGea, to give away cotton bags

- One cotton bag replaces up to a thousand plastic ones

With the goal of encouraging citizens to stop using plastic bags, the organizations ViGea and Animal Friends, will start an action of giving away hundreds of cotton bags.

The citizens are asked to come and get their free cotton bag on Friday, April 17, 2009, at our info stall which will be set on Petar Preradovic Square from 10 A.M. It will be part of marking the Cleanliness Day organized by Zagrebacki Holding, Branch Cistoca. At 12 noon two "bag monsters" will hand out leaflets and invite people to get additional information at our info stall.

The give-away of cotton bags with environmental messages will be repeated on April 18, 2009 in Varsavska ulica, nearby Petar Preradovic Square, on Animal Friends' regular info stall with the option to sign the petition for a ban of plastic bags. Free cotton bags were provided by the ecological organization ViGea, with the support of Animal Friends, the Zamah foundation and National Foundation for Civil Society Development.

Animal Friends, ViGea and the other organizations have a common aim to implement a legal regulation, in order to introduce a ban and to drastically reduce the use of plastic bags. They praise the decisions of those supermarkets and stores that have already banned free plastic bags.

Each year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are discarded worldwide and most of them end up in nature. Hundreds of thousands of animals die each year because of these plastic bags, either because they mistake them for food and eat them, or because they get entangled. Plastic bags decay for decades into smaller pieces and eventually end up as plastic particles of dust, polluting the environment.

Recycling plastic bags is expensive and complicated. Only about 1% of bags are recycled. Even a considerable increase in the recycling of plastic bags would not solve the problem of their uncontrolled production, which requires vast quantities of natural resources and emits toxic chemicals into the environment

The countries of China, South Africa and Israel as well as the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles have already banned the free distribution of plastic bags. In 2002, Ireland was the first country in Europe to introduce a special tax on plastic bags and their use has meanwhile decreased by 90%.

Animal Friends appeals to citizens to use cotton and net bags, baskets and the like, and to refuse any free plastic bags that are offered in stores. Citizens are also invited to sign the petition to ban plastic bags, which would result in saving numerous animals from a painful deaths as well as spare the environment from pollution and disfigurement.

Such a ban would also have a huge educational impact since it would teach people not to consume all that can be produced, and it would also promote further steps in saving our planet. We save our environment by buying things that can be used multiple times, sorting refuse for recycling, disposing of dangerous waste in appropriate manner, and so on.

We can also help our environment by shifting to a meatless nutrition, since the production of vegetarian foods requires far less natural resources than breeding animals for food. Meatless nutrition saves considerable quantities of water and energy, helps diminish global warming and environmental pollution, and helps fight world hunger.

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