The Easy Thing We Can All Do to Protect Wildlife
How Using Reusable Shopping Bags Saves Our Wildlife
There are a lot of merits to using reusable shopping bags, from the streamlining of waste management to the use of more eco materials, but there are a lot of perks for members of the animal kingdom when humans decide to make the environmentally responsible decision to carry their purchases in reusable shopping bags.
Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute – Reusable Shopping Bags Reduce Litter
Despite a lot of hard work discouraging folks against littering and cleanup efforts, single use plastic bags are likely to end up as litter. This problem is not common with reusable shopping bags given their durable nature. Reusable bags tend to be held on to and not carelessly tossed on the ground or blown out of a trash can or landfill. Furthermore, carrying reusable shopping bags reduces the need and the demand for disposable shopping bags and over time, will alleviate the negative impact plastic bag litter causes for wildlife.
Harmful Impact of Litter on Wildlife
Unfortunately, animals can easily mistake litter for food. This problem is especially likely in the water. A floating plastic bag may look like a jellyfish to a predator and large animals like whales may inadvertently eat plastic litter when they close in on a school of fish. There have also been accounts of cows and other grazing animals eating litter that was caught in tall grasses.
When ingested, disposable plastic bags can lead to death either by becoming tangled and causing a blockage in the animal’s digestive system or by filling the animal’s stomach, so they are unable to eat and take in nutrients. Starvation is a slow and painful death. When an animal dies it routinely becomes a food source for an animal one step up on the food chain. It is very easy for an animal eating a carcass to eat any plastic litter that was in the deceased animal’s digestive system and continue this sad and dangerous cycle.
Animals can also become tangled in plastic bag litter which can lead to an animal being unable to defend themselves and their young from a predator or being unable to care and fend for themselves. Nature can be brutal, but when outside forces like litter interfere, it can throw things off balance.
Eco Materials Make All the Difference
Disposable plastic bags are made from oil, a nonrenewable resource and emit greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process, so a simple switch to reusable shopping bags reduces the need for disposable plastic bags and in time, less demand will reduce the wasteful use of fossil fuels and the harmful greenhouse gases that are produced as a byproduct which contribute to global warming which melts the ice caps and jeopardizes animal’s habitats.
By comparison, the materials used to construct reusable shopping bags help the environment and protect animal’s habitats. Sustainable materials like cotton and jute convert greenhouse gases into breathable oxygen while the plants are growing and because the plants can be grown again and again the cycle continues.
When recycled materials are used to construct reusable shopping bags, material that would otherwise be litter and pose a risk to animals and their habitats or clog landfills is put to good use. Both sustainable and recycled materials make durable reusable shopping bags and both materials have a positive environmental impact.
Reusable shopping bags help the planet in so many ways and they certainly save animals from all of the harm and danger single use bags cause. Reusable shopping bags reduce the need and use of disposable plastic bags and this in turn protects animals, their food supplies and their habitats. Nature should be allowed to play out and when litter kills animals or their habitats are destroyed, this interferes with the natural order and can set off a chain of events that can lead to irreparable damage.
We Can All Help Make The Planet a Safer Place for Animals by Going Reusable
Using reusable shopping bags will not fix the problem overnight, but this is certainly a step in the right direction and will help preserve our planet and our wildlife. This is such an easy way we can all join in to make a difference for the animals on our planet.
Make a difference by checking out our selection of reusable bags for your event, brand or business HERE and share this post using the buttons above or posting on your own website to get the world out!
- www.sustainablelivinggroup.com (plastic bag turtle)
- www.newswatch.nationalgeographic.com (crane plastic bag)