09/16/08 Goodbye to Plastic Bags!

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Petition for banning plastic bags

Producing and accumulating plastic bags in nature has a harmful impact on the environment, while especially dangerous are discareded plastic bags which cause death to millions of animals that die from swallowing them or getting entangled in them.

Animal Friends with support from the associations Compost Center, Eko Kvarner, Eco Initiative, PCAP International, Blue World, Consumer, Sun, Green Action, Green Istria, Green Osijek, and others, launches petition for the legal ban on plastic bags.

The ban on distribution of disposable plastic bags in the stores is demanded as a priority, together with stimulation for usage of linen bags and baskets that can be reused and eventually completely biodegradable plastic baggs for articles which until now have been packed in common plastic bags.

Signing of the petition will start at ZeGeVege festival which will be held on September 20 from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. at Ban Jelacic Square in Zagreb and after that on the stalls of the associations in other Croatian cities as well as on the web page www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr.

Citizens are invited to sign the petition for the ban on plastic bags because together we can make a difference that not only directly decreases resource spending, environmental pollution and killing of animals, but also has a huge educational value. The message that would be sent by this petition would be that we have to start living a sustainable way of life for us, for animals and for the environment which we all depend on.

The plastic bag ban has already been passed by the Chinese government. San Francisco and Los Angeles have also made that decision, and similar decisions have been made in other parts of the world like South Africa, Ireland, and Israel.

Every year 500 billion plastic bags are used and a large majority of that number ends up in nature. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other sea mammals die every year from eating plastic bags confusing them for food.

In nature plastic bags decompose into smaller pieces and after that to plastic dust which is hazardous to the environment. The amount of recycled bags is extremely low. Only about 1% of the bags end up recycled. Plastic bag recycling is neither economic nor easily manageable. Even if the amount of recycled plastic bags drastically increased, that wouldn't solve the problem of their ruthless production that uses enormous amounts of resources and poisonous chemicals.

Should we ask ourselves if animals will suffocate in the plastic bags that we get from stores and will the plastic dust fill the water ways?

Even if we don't think about how plastic bags are made and where they end up or even easier if we believe market tricks about how plastic bags are practical and that they allegedly have an irrelevant effect on the environment, it is clear that for our own and our kids' future we should open our eyes and do concrete steps as soon as possible.

One linen shopping bag replaces 1,000 plastic bags in its duration. It is time that we become conscious and that we go shopping like we did twenty years ago, with our own linen shopping bags and baskets.

There is no reason that we all don't say goodbye to plastic bags.

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