OUR STORIES, OUR ACTIONS, OUR VOICES... AND YOURS!

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Poster  international bag free day 2015

Logo   -> Bag Free World

Banner   -> Bag Free World

Materials in Spanish click here

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IDEAS FOR ACTIONS TO ORGANISE

You can organise any kind of action to raise awareness and/or demand your authorities to act to stop single use plastic bags, then you can upload your work to this site. For instance you can:

–          Take pictures of plastic bags in the nature and upload them to this site,

–          Bring single-use plastic bags to politicians -mayor, ministers, etc- and take a picture with them,

–          Get famous local people to pose with you with a reusable cloth bag and upload them to the site

–          Return single-use plastic bags found in nature to the industry (manufacturers, distributors…)

–          Take a picture of yourself with a petition or a satement about plastic bags

–          Collect plastic bags found in nature & create art pieces exhibited in visible areas of the city & invite politicians & media to the opening

–          Give prizes to people who don’t ask for a plastic bag in the shops.

–          Return single-use plastic bags found in nature to emblematic buildings (environment ministry, Parliament, etc).

–          Workshop of reusable bags. Customize your reusable bag (painting, sewing, patchworking…)

–          Creating the “no plastic bag” logo made with plastic bags.

–          Action in shopping centres giving to consumers reusable bags and taking back the one-way. One-way bags can be showed in a big net so that people can see that plastic bags are still very much consumed.

–          Smart mob with participants and volunteers in a mall or any commercial area with bags on their heads entering shops with normality.

 

And anything you can think of! Be creative, do something, take a picture or record a video of it and upload it to this site to make the point that this is a global issue. Global problems need global solutions!

 

TYPES OF PLASTIC BAGS

 

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Bags – This type of plastic is used to make unbranded ‘singlet’ bags that are commonly used in supermarkets, service stations and food outlets. HDPE is manufactured from ethylene and is a by-product of gas or oil refining. These types of bags are fully recyclable but do not biodegrade.

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) – These are generally branded and used as ‘boutique’ bags at stores selling higher value goods at department stores. LDPE is also manufactured from ethylene and is a by-product of gas or oil refining. Like HDPE, LDPE does not biodegrade. There are no recycling programs in King County for LDPE bags.

Non-woven Polypropylene – This type of plastic is used to make ‘reusable’ bags. There is currently no recycling market for polypropylene bags at end-of-life due to their relatively low volume in King County. Non-woven polypropylene is also non-biodegradable.

Degradable Plastic Bags – Degradable plastic is designed to undergo changes in its chemical structure under specific environmental conditions. It can be broken down by chemical or biological processes. There are 5 different types of degradable polymers:

1. Biodegradable polymers – A degradable plastic where degradation results from naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria,fungi and algae.

2. Compostable polymers – A plastic that undergoes degradation by biological processes during composting. In the proper environment, compostable plastic is completely biodegradable and can be completely consumed in 180 days or less . These bags would work well for simple uses, such as food service, lawn, grocery, department store and pet bag products.

3. Oxi-biodegradable polymers – This type of plastic undergoes controlled degradation through additives that can trigger and accelerate the degradation process.

4. Photodegradable polymers – These bags break down when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light or UV-sensitive additives.

5. Water-soluble polymers – Water soluble polymers dissolve in water within a specific temperature range.

 

 BAN OR TAX OR WHAT?

 

Measures to phase out single use plastic bags

In order to limit the amount of single use plastic bags some countries opt for banning them, some others prefer taxing them and some others opt for voluntary agreements.
Banning them can be more effective in cases when they pose an imminent and clear danger but they depend on strong law enforcement capacity. Examples of countries that have banned are Italy, Rwanda or Bangladesh.

 

Taxing single use plastic bags is an effective option to reduce its use and it can also raise some funds that can be used to fix the damage

For example,Ireland, Denmark or Finland. Voluntary agreements whereby the shops and supermarkets commit to implement measures to reduce plastic bag consumption – like charging for them – based on previously agreed reduction targets are also a way to reduce bag use. For example, Belgium or Australia.