Saving our planet; one bag at a time

August 30, 2004

Plastic bags kill 10,000 Mediterranean fish each day!

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 2:59 am

Online Greek publication ekathimerini.com today published this shocking fact.

“There will have to be a change in the law forcing supermarkets to charge for shopping bags so that their excessive use, which is detrimental to the environment, can stop,” said Apostolos Alexakis, president of the Association of Greek Supermarkets.

An average store serves about 800 customers a day, each uses four plastic bags on average. Each supermarket gives away roughly 3,200 bags a day and with some 2,500 stores nationwide, this leads to 8 million plastic bags being used daily by customers.

As a result, some 60,000 tons of plastic bags, which are not biodegradable, end up in landfill sites around Greece each year, according to recycling experts. And they get into the seas, and kill more than 10,000 fish a day. Every day!

Alexakis said that if customers are charged for their shopping bags, this number could be halved. He added that the move could also lead to cheaper products since the 2 cents or so that each bag costs are incorporated into the price of items on the supermarket shelves.

Supermarket owners are willing to consider charging for plastic shopping bags and encouraging customers to bring their own, and would be interested in adopting a system similar to that used in other European countries, such as Ireland, whereby customers bring cloth bags from home for their shopping, or are charged for each plastic bag they use.

Greece is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I’m so glad they are taking the problem seriously.

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