Why are we still using Plastic Bags?!

I don’t think it is a surprise to know that we have a plastics problem.  And if you are reading this article it means that you are an Afresh member who cares about our environment and have started making your own changes to reduce your plastic footprint.

So let’s start off with a few facts..

According to cleanup.org.au we now produce over 2.5 million tones of plastic waste each year.  This equates to 100kg per person per year.  Of this, only 13% of plastic is recovered and 84% is sent to landfill.  To put this into perspective, this is enough waste to cover the whole of Victoria every year!

Research conducted in Sydney Harbour in 2014 found plastic nanoparticles in the flesh of fish that are among the species caught for human consumption, meaning that these plastics are beginning to work their way up the food chain and onto your plate.  This is horrifying!

One more piece of information I read, that really upset me (if in fact true). According to plasticfreelife.com the writer visited a plastic bag factory where she learned that “most plastic bags (and other plastics, for that matter) contain “slip agents” to reduce the friction in the material.  And what are slip agents made from?  Wait for it.. Animal fat!”

“The factory owner the writer spoke with called it “chicken fat”, but according to an article she found afterwards, “Animal Derived Agents in Disposable Systems,” many of these slip agents are made from rendered beef tallow”.

Are you grossed out yet?! We are! It's just yuck!

But it doesn't have to be that way, it is such an easy change to make.

If this doesn’t make you think twice the next time you use a plastic bag I don’t know what will.

So to help, here are some simple changes you can make right now to help you and your family live their best life in this beautiful country we are so lucky to live in.

  • Buy re-usable shopping and grocery bags. Make sure you keep a stack of them in your car.  You never know when you’re going to need them.
  • Take your own cotton mesh produce bags to put your fruit and veggies in. Or if you forget, it’s ok! You don’t need that plastic bag!  I’ve forgotten my mesh bags plenty of times, I just don’t worry about it. I pop them straight into the trolley and just wash your fruit and veggies when you get home in some water and apple cider vinegar.
  • Take your own glass containers and silicone bags to put your meats, cheeses and deli purchases in. The first time I did this I felt a bit weird, but the more and more you do it, it just feels like second nature, and you start to feel really good about yourself, knowing that you have taken yourself out of your comfort zone to make positive changes that really matter.