Choosing an alternative to single-use plastic bags
Single-use plastic bags continue to be a serious pollution problem, not only in South Africa but across the globe. Plastic bags are created from fossil fuels. But, they end up in dumps and ultimately the ocean. Shreds of plastic can be easily mistaken for food by a hungry animal. And, when ingested, plastic will fill the animal’s stomach with fatal consequences.
Global greening initiatives have already seen the ban on plastic bags in a number of countries. While this is currently not an option for South Africa the choice to be more conscious of nature lies in our hands. In this article, we will take a look at the options you have when shopping at Karaglen SuperSpar.
Enough plastic bags and containers are thrown away every year to cover the surface of the planet four times over! It is up to us to stop this. When you go shopping at Karaglen SuperSpar you have an option to say no to the plastic bag! We have sustainable recyclable and reusable options for you to choose from.
Paper Bag Option:
While there are a little more expensive than your single-use plastic bags, paper bags are 100% biodegradable. They are also reusable. Our paper bags are able to withstand far more pressure than the average plastic bag. And this means you can fill them with more groceries. Simply dispose of it with your other household refuse or set it aside for recycling.
Canvas Bag Option:
Karaglen SuperSpar also features a range of brightly coloured canvas bags as an alternative to single-use plastic bags. These are far more durable than both plastic and paper and will last for years to come. Spar banded canvas bags can also be washed.
Other Sustainable Alternatives
Cotton bags have become one of the most sustainable options for shopping. They are both reusable and biodegradable. They are also made from naturally renewable resources. Investing in a few cotton bags can be costly in the beginning but you’ll soon make up for it by not having to buy new single-use plastic bags on every shopping trip.
Hessian Bags are among the options which will last you the longest. They are durable and strong and will last for many years. Similar to cotton bags, hessian bags are naturally renewable and biodegradable. Surprisingly, hessian bags also consume CO2 greenhouse gasses. Tests have shown that these bags can degrade in just two years without posing any harm to the environment.
A Local Alternative
Little Green Number is a Proudly South African company which supports a sustainable future and local job creation. Bags created by Little Green Number are made from used billboards! Their story began in 2002 when MES was approached to recycle old billboards.
Billboards are made from PVC and will never degrade; Little Green Number recycles the billboards to make functional items from waste. By creating these products the company also started to create more jobs, and therefore, they have fought poverty while striving to save the planet. Additionally, the company’s philosophy of Buy 1 Give 1 means that for every bag sold a Little Green Number is donated to a school child in need.
Single Use Plastic Bag Fact Sheet:
- 100 billion plastic bags are used every year in America. The manufacture of these bags requires a staggering 12 million barrels of oil.
- Only around 1% of plastic bags are every returned for recycling.
- Over 250 animal species are affected by pollution as a result of plastics.
- Every year 100 000 oceanic animal’s die from plastic bags.
- Every plastic bag is only used for an average of 12 minutes.
- It will take around 500 years for a single-use plastic bag to degrade on a dump site.
- Plastic never degrades completely. It will photo-degrade which means that it will become microplastic and absorb toxins which will then carry on polluting our environment
Next time you shop at Karaglen SuperSpar be sure to ask for an alternative to single-use plastic bags. Have a look at how we are taking sustainability to the next level here.