France Bans the Plastic Carrier Bag

It’s refreshing to hear some good news, and today’s comes from France. They have announced that all single-use plastic bags will be banned from shops from the 1st July 2016 as part of their drive against pollution!

It will apply to all shops no matter how big or small, and involves all single-use bags. The stronger reusable bags will be allowed for the next two years, but eventually they too will be phased out.

With over 17 billion plastic bags sold every year in France, this will make an enormous impact on the nation’s plastic pollution. It’s great news for anyone who doesn’t want their landscape ruined by plastic, it’ll reduces rubbish for waste collection services, and importantly great news for marine life who are living in an increasingly plastic-filled environment.

Here in the UK we would love to see the government taking a stronger stance against single-use plastics. The recent (and long awaited) 5p charge can go a small way to reducing plastic bag usage, but really why not just ban it? It’s hard to see who will lose out by taking the bold leap to reusable shopping bags (aside from the few plastic bag manufacturers!)

One thing for us all to remember is that carrier bags are only one of the culprits in our plastic filled, daily routine. What about all those “hidden” plastics in our everyday consumables?

Our fixation on carrier bags has allowed countless other plastic based products to linger quietly, unnoticed in the background. For example, not many people realize that one pack of normal sanitary pads is made from the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags! With the average woman using 17,000 pads in a life-time that adds up to the equivalent of 4,857 plastic carrier bags per woman. There are 30 million women in Great Britain, that’s an awful lot of plastic.

Picture the irony of reaching for your reusable shopping bag as you rush out the house with the equivalent of four plastic bags in your underwear and 4 in your handbag just in case! It’s just one of the reasons why we make plastic free pads, liners and tampons, as well as the fact that they are breathable and comfortable to wear!

There are loads of other ways you can help reduce your everyday plastic footprint. Take a look at websites such as 5 Gyres and blogs from the likes of Beth Terry for inspiration and practical tips!

plastic decompose fact sign

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