5 trillion plastic bags are being produced globally every year
ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) said that every year, the world produces around five trillion plastic bags, which could translate to more or less 700 bags per person.
These bags which are usually utilized in just a few minutes or hours, take centuries to decompose, ACB pointed out.
“Before being decomposed, these wastes pile up in our lands and easily washed up into our streams, and rivers until they reach the oceans, polluting our waters, destroying aquatic habitats, and eventually kill marine species,” ACB said.
The problems caused by the proliferation of plastic wastes include: clogging of waterways causing serious flooding and landslides; health problems due to the ingestion of harmful chemicals like benzene and styrene; loss of marine biodiversity caused by water pollution; air pollution by burning plastic wastes; and economic damage to marine ecosystems, to name a few.
“While plastic provides significant number of uses in our daily lives, it poses greater threats to biodiversity and environment,” ACB said.
In the Philippines, public markets and large supermarkets in some cities and municipalities now practice the “Bring Your Own Bag” (BYOB)—a campaign aimed to encourage consumers to bring a reusable bags when shopping.
“If you can’t reuse it, refuse it,” the government said.