07/15/08 Ban Plastic Bags!

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Animal Friends demands a legal ban on distribution of plastic bags

Every year over 500 billion plastic bags are distributed, from which less than 1% is being recycled due to the high costs. The rest of 99% we see later in the nature polluting seas, rivers, lakes and in so doing killing millions of animals who confuse our waste for food and die out of digestion problems or choking.

The Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction is considering to deduct a buying up of plastic bags which would not completely solve this ecological problem since there would still be huge amounts produced of this for nature toxic waste, and animals would still be endangered by it. We believe that in this way the production and selling of plastic bags would only increase, while a legal ban and offering of an adequate replacements would solve this big ecological problem.

In times where we are threatened by an ecological cataclysm, a ban of plastic bags sends an educative message because citizens are thought to live more consciously, treating nature and animals better and in general returning to old ways of carrying bags, baskets and cloth bags.

There have been many documented cases of animals having died by mistaking plastic bags for possible food, swallowing the same and dying in pain of constipation or inability of further nourishment. Also there have been many cases in which birds, fishes, turtles or other animals got stuck in them and died tormented in days. Besides that plastic bags decompose extremely long in nature and when they finally do, they stay in a form of a plastic powder inappropriate for the environment.

It is very important to mention that their production demands a great consumption of oil and water, which again has an effect of even greater devastation and unnecessary use of natural resources, which we have already pretty much exhausted.

Animal Friends has directed a demand for banning the sale of plastic bags to the state secretary in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction, Nikola Ruzinski, and the vice president of Environmental Protection Committee and the member of the Croatian Parliament, Mirela Holy, which stated the parliamentary question to the prime minister Ivo Sanader of banning or limiting the sale of plastic bags.

The Chinese government has already made the decision to ban their production and distribution in shops, while citizens of Modbury, in southwest England, alone, in agreement banned the use of plastic bags and offer bags of recycled paper and cloth bags in their shops. San Francisco has banned their sale in stores. Similar decisions have been brought in other parts of the world like South Africa, Ireland, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Bhutan; Rwanda, and Zanzibar, where there have been money fines for people who use those non-ecological bags.

Montenegro is just considering the ban of legal distribution of plastic bags, with which it wants to systematically educate citizens about replacing plastic bags with cloth, paper or similar bags which don't affect the environment like plastic ones.

With banning the distribution of plastic bags the problem of manufacturing and piling up of that kind of waste in nature would be reduced, millions of animals would be saved that die of swallowing bags and entangling in them and the great amount of raw material used for making them would be preserved.

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