“Our throwaway culture and plastic waste is having catastrophic effects on marine wildlife and the oceans”
- Associate Environment Minister, Eugenie Sage
Sea turtles are regularly fooled into thinking that plastic bags are one of their favorite foods, jellyfish. These majestic sea creatures make up just some of the hundreds of thousands of animals that die each year after swallowing or choking on discarded plastic bags.
In NZ alone we contribute 1.6 billion single use plastic bags a year towards the world’s whopping 1 trillion total. The government is currently ‘actively looking’ at options for a phase out, and it’s about time too! Mandatory charges introduced in over 40 countries have seen reductions in plastic bag use drop between a substantial 25% to a massive 83%.
We don’t have to wait for politicians to create legislation that encourages change, we can start by trying to inspire change in the people that we know and love. However, finding a way to share what we believe in can sometimes be tricky, so here are some tips and hints to get your started:
- Lead By Example
Actions speak louder than words, so if you feel uncomfortable raising the issue, show the world you care instead by investing in some reusable bags for your shopping.
- 3 Great Facts
Who doesn’t love a good fact? Find 3 plastic bag facts that resonate with you and then share them around. But remember, make at least one of them positive – people need to feel motivated and inspired not completely hopeless and overwhelmed!
- Get Gifting
Informing / nagging people is never a great way of winning hearts and minds, so why not infiltrate their consciousness through kindness by simply gifting reusable bags to all your friends and family this year.
- Sign & Send
If you literally can’t face it then get cyber on it. Jump online and sign the Bags Not petition before sharing the link on social media. Search and find people/organisations championing the cause; like their pages, repost their posts, comment and generally share your love for what they are doing.