2011: The War On Plastic Bags


According to the Huffington Post’s article Italy Bans Plastic Bags, this is just one of the areas of the world where plastic bags have been targeted for elimination. Quoting the article:

This couldn’t come too soon, considering that Italians use about 20 billion plastic bags per year. According to WWF biologist Eva Alessi, each Italian uses 400 plastic bags per year, and Italy is responsible for 25 percent of all plastic bag production in Europe.

When you read the above quote, it is staggering that one country uses so much plastic per year.  If Italy uses 25% of all European plastic bags, this is an economic matter as well.

From an environmental viewpoint, the article states:

 Environmentalists are pleased with the ban because plastic bags are horrible on the environment, degrading extremely slowly and taking decades to decompose. They are also potentially harmful to marine life and other animals.



Now, let’s ponder on this fact for a moment—20 billion plastic bags per year in Italy alone.  How about the global village plastic use?  According to the web site listed below, the number is 500,000,000,000 (5 hundred billion).


Italy’s efforts to reduce plastic bags may seem like a drop in the Adriatic Sea, but it is a noble effort regardless of the total global ecological impact.  They are moving in the right direction.

After the article The Huffington Post lists a number of other communities on this planet traversing the cosmos which are targeting these ever-increasing plastic bags which occupy teeming landfills and our polluted oceans.  These articles demonstrate that some communities on this planet are doing what they can to nourish the health of this weary planet.

Why is the planet weary?  Humans have not been kind to this home among the stars.  Now, let me clarify, there are a number of people around this sphere who care about their environment.  However, human progress (industrial age and advancing technology) has had many detrimental effects on this planet.

The gradual demise of many fauna and flora on this planet in the last two hundred years is an indictment on the betterment of the human genome.  Humans, moving from caves to villages to cities, are a testament to how the current state of the ecosystem has evolved.

Animals and insects do not have the impact on the ecosystem that human endeavors have each day.  As has been stated, the earth is a fragile system of interconnected life. 


What are you doing to bring healing to your environment?  Will you support the reduction of plastic bags?  As your children watch you daily, what habits will they carry with them into adulthood?  What will they pass along to their children, your grandchildren? What will be your ecological legacy to this place you call home?


Plastic bags are only one part of the pollution problem on this planet.  Let’s be honest.  We are all culprits in this sad saga of pollution. 

Driving to work the other day I saw an old friend who is retired cleaning up the country road on which he lives.  He had his tractor and had at least two large trash bags filled with discarded items. 

For you see, people will toss out their fast food containers and other garbage on the road instead of taking it home to their trash receptacles.  In my opinion these people are barbarians—polluters of the environment who take no personal responsibility for their consumption of life resources. Their behavior indicates a definite missing link to ethical choices in their own life.  Care of this planet is an ethical choice.  They have chosen not to care.

Anything that we can do individually to reduce pollution of the land, water and air will be a benefit to the ecosystem of which we are an integral part.  Let’s use our intelligence to improve our living home.  Our determination and effort today will have a lasting impact on the tomorrows to come.

Ponderings on the 4th day of January about life on this planet…

G. D. Williams       © 2011

A BBC video on plastic bags: 


With music from Coldplay-Don’t Panic the video below gives some statistics and recommendations: