Shoppers in the Far South Peninsula are being urged to avoid using plastic bags to mark International Plastic Bag Free Day on Monday July 3.
More than 30 community organisations, including the Far South Peninsula Community Forum, are calling on residents, who haven’t already, to switch to reusable shopping bags and stop using single-use plastic.
It takes between 100 and 500 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate, depending on the type of plastic: even then, particles remain in the environment. 80% of marine litter is plastic. The success of the plastic bag has meant a dramatic increase in the amount of sacks found floating in the oceans where they choke, strangle, and starve wildlife and raft alien species around the world, according to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the Antarctic Survey, who studies the impact of marine debris.
“As concerned residents of the Far South Peninsula we are promoting this campaign to discourage the use of single use plastic bags, encourage the use of reusable bags and reduce unnecessary plastic packaging,” said campaign co-ordinator Karen Gray-Kilfoil, from Sun Valley Eco Watch.
Organisers have invited shops throughout the peninsula to support the day and planned publicity includes shoppers’ surveys and reusable bag give-aways.