Every year about 100 million tons of plastic are dispersed in nature. It is not too late for each of us to be responsible starting with the use of the cloth bag … but one for life
They are many, they are colorful, they are eco – really? Choose to use a cloth bag it is often the first conscientious gesture we make to feel involved in the battle against environmental pollution in the direction plastic free. From the cosmopolitan architect to the university student to the provincial housewife, the cloth bag is the cross accessory that brings everyone together in the battle against plastic. And yet, perhaps there is a detail that escapes: use one for life.
First, the numbers
How much plastic did you use today? It is enough to do a quick review of everyday actions to discover that our daily life is marked by objects that unfortunately will remain long after us – unfortunately. The WWF has issued appalling figures: the 95% is the percentage of plastic contained in the waste from the Mediterranean Sea that suffocates habitats and species; 1.25 million of fragments per km2 is the record concentration of microplastics in the Mare nostrum, almost 4 times higher than those recorded on the plastic island of the northern Pacific; over 90% of the damage caused by our waste to wildlife is due to plastic; 134 are the species victims of plastic ingestion in the Mediterranean (including all species of sea turtle, which exchange plastic bags for prey); Europe is the second plastic manufacturer in the world; 2.1 are the millions of tons of plastic packaging consumed by the Italians each year.
With these numbers worthy of the worst horror film, the environmental association has launched a worldwide petition to urgently request an international treaty to stop plastic pollution. After the EU signed the single-item farewell by 2021, the request is directed to the governments of the world to stipulate a Global Deal legally binding with the aim of blocking the dispersion of plastic in nature by 2030.
Maybe not everyone knows that …
Bearing in mind the numbers pitted by WWF, our intervention is more than desirable. The infamous plastic bag patented in 1965 by a Swedish engineer, it has been banned in Italy since 2011 in favor of the biodegradable version. In the last decade, the cloth bag has entered common use as a practical eco-sustainable solution, becoming the accessory smart to keep in your bag when you go shopping or to use for the household order in the closet as in the pantry, to be the preferred gift of businesses or large and small companies. But…
Make your mind local: how many cloth shoppers do you have at home? The probability of having accumulated a collector's number is very high. Just think of the Italian population, which for 2019 was estimated by Istat at around 60 million inhabitants. With a quick hypothetical calculation, the number of fabric bags is decidedly high. The point lies in the environmental impact necessary for its production, which the UK environmental protection agency (Uk Environment Agency, or Ukea) had calculated to be superior to that of a high density polyethylene bag. The undeniable positive side is that the fabric bag is anyway reusable, although to compensate for the environmental impact it must be reused more than 130 times. In practice, to make the choice of the cloth bag truly ecological it is necessary to use it for a year and a half at least once a week. So, if we really want to help the environment, it is important to use a single bag of fabric without accumulating.
Another element to be reckoned with is the material with which the cloth bag is made. One must keep in mind in the choice that i eco-sustainable or environmentally friendly fabrics they are of animal origin, derived from organic or animal fibers such as wool, cotton, silk, jute, for example – even milk! Not only their origin is important to verify, but also the production process must have a low environmental impact, of course. Also look at the printing and dyeing, which must contain absolutely no oil or chemical derivatives. In short, the choice of the cloth bag must be made carefully to really help the planet.
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Cover from Esturirafi