Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Plastic bags deemed an environmental threat to the general public's health

It's a common refrain heard in every supermarket: paper or plastic? In some African nations, that option is no longer valid. In such countries as Mali, Mauritania, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya have banned plastic bags as they pose an environmental threat. Could the rest of the world be far behind?

The effect of plastic bags on local ecology became highly apparent in the United Arab Emirates. The remains of a dead camel were found surrounding a giant ball of polythene, lying intact in what would have been the animal's stomach.

The effect of plastic bags on local ecology became highly apparent in the United Arab Emirates. The remains of a dead camel were found surrounding a giant ball of polythene, lying intact in what would have been the animal's stomach.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Plastic bags, environment, ecological threat, animal death


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Plastic bag production became a criminal offence in both Mauritania and Mali on New Year's Eve. Rwanda and Somalia have also followed suit.

Mali's environment ministry described plastic bags as a "disastrous scourge" and "a menace to public health." Bangladesh was the first nation to outlaw polythene bags in 2002.

Among the many issues associated with plastic bag use, Malian authorities say the discarded bags block drainage systems. Plastic bags also pose a dangerous risk to animals such as sea turtles, which die after eating plastic bags because they resemble jellyfish.

The effect of plastic bags on ecology became highly apparent in the United Arab Emirates. The remains of a dead camel were found surrounding a giant ball of polythene, lying intact in what would have been the animal's stomach. Around half of the country's camels were dying from starvation caused by plastic consumption. Only oxo-biodegradable plastics, which decompose in air or water, are now allowed in that country.

Some cities in India, Pakistan, Mexico and the U.S. have also banned plastic bags in recent years. Italy became the first European country to do so in 2011. France plans to follow suit in 2014. Even China, which is often criticized as environmentally irresponsible, restricts the use of plastic bags.

"People think that once you get rid of plastic bags it's going to solve all our littering problems," Neil Verlander of Friends of the Earth told journalists. "But plastic bags are just the tip of the iceberg. They make up a very small part of the huge amount of material we throw away."

A total plastic bag ban is highly improbable, a problem which Mauritanians discovered this year. Mamadou Fall, a hostel owner from the southern city of Rosso, says that locals were largely nonplussed by the initiative, which had "made no change" to the behavior of shoppers so far.

"We're not totally against this idea, but it can't work until the government offers us an alternative. How can we take home our sugar once we have weighed and bought it, if we don't have a plastic bag to put it in?"

While paper bags are biodegradable, they cost more in time, energy and natural resources than plastic bags do to produce.

The world's most efficient bag ban did not involve a "bag ban" at all, but instead, a "bag levy," Introduced in Ireland in 2002, the law initially saw customers charged 15 euro centimes per plastic bag. Within weeks, plastic bag use had fallen by 95 percent, and 90 percent of shoppers were using their own bags.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

Unexpected find in Washington may be last of its kind Watch

Image of This is the group of dinosaurs the Tyrannosaurus Rex is associated with.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When an inter-tidal rock was found in the Sucia Island State Park in Washington State back in 2012, its discoverers had no idea that it would create or cause such excitement and hype. Embedded in the rock is a 17-inch bone fragment, that could not be immediately ... continue reading


DEVASTATING photos show humanity's destruction of Planet Earth Watch

Image of This bird ate too much plastic trash and died, revealing its unnatural diet upon decomposition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Humanity's rapid expansion as the global population increases is taking its toll on the environment. Climate change, overpopulation, pollution, hunting of endangered species and strip mining are running rampant worldwide. A series of shocking photographs now ... continue reading


TOO SOON? Canonization of Mother Teresa next year only hypothetical, Vatican says Watch

Image of There had been reports in the Italian press that Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of various published reports that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata will be canonized on September 4, 2016, the Vatican says that this remains hypothetical. "It is a working hypothesis, therefore there is no official confirmation to be given," Vatican representative ... continue reading


2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse Watch

Image of Land-based glaciers that have also started to slide faster toward the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those polar ice caps keep right on melting. Things have deteriorated so badly - especially the Larsen B ice shelf, that scientist now fear the entire Antarctica ice shelf will collapse by the end of this decade, in ... continue reading


Raining spiders? Large areas of Australia covered in spider webs Watch

Image of Baby spiders

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The worst news for spider haters in Australia and around the globe: a natural migration phenomenon where baby spiders are flying is possible and has recently happened in the southern part of Australia. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Referred to as "Angel ... continue reading


HONEY HOLOCAUST: Forty percent of all beehives died in the past year Watch

Image of Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April of last year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is an alarming figure that may speak of a silent, ecological disaster. According to a federal study, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The survey reports that the worst die-off ... continue reading


Recreating Dinosaurs: Using chicken embryos, scientists learn how dinosaurs got 'snouts' Watch

Image of The team's aim was to understand how the bird beak evolved, because the beak is such a vital part of bird anatomy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An asteroid, crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago, is thought to have caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A group of dinosaurs managed to survive, and is thought to have evolved into modern-day birds. That theory has been around since the 19th Century. ... continue reading


Catfish surprisingly climbs wall and stuns scientists Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inside a cave near Tena in Ecuador, a group of scientists filmed a catfish climbing up the wall to lick food from the roof. Climbing seems impossible for fishes, but evidence of an actual video showing an armored catfish making its way up the cave wall presents a new ... continue reading


Climate change to cause animal extinction in next century Watch

Image of New Zealand's tuataras will be one of the species affected by climate change.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the next century or so, one in six species of plants and animals are likely to be extinct in South America, New Zealand, and Australia. Species in North America are at a lower risk of being extinct. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to a study ... continue reading


'Empty landscapes': Massive herbivore extinction in Southeast Asia hurts environment Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oxford University researchers observed a rapid decline among large herbivores living in the rainforests, savannah and jungles located in Southeast Asia, as well as in India and Africa. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the experts, this ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter