Skip to main content

Plastic Bags: A Distraction From Real Environmental Issues

  • Author:
  • Updated:

By Ben Cohen

George Monbiot explains why plastic bags really aren't that big a problem compared to CO2 emissions:

Don't get me wrong – I don't like

plastic bags

either. We use too many of them, just as we use too many of all the earth's resources. They litter the countryside and

cause problems for wildlife when they end up in the sea

. But their total impact is microscopic by comparison to almost anything else we do. As environment writer

George Marshall

records in his excellent book

Carbon Detox

, our annual average consumption of bags produces 5kg of carbon dioxide a year. Total average emissions are 12,500kg.

Plastic bags aren't even a very large component of domestic waste. Plastics in general – according to a study by South Gloucestershire district council
– account for 18% of total household waste. Plastic bags account for
18% of the plastic, which means 3.2% of total waste. Clingfilm (23% of
domestic plastic waste) produces a greater proportion than plastic

On a lighter note, the Global Warming crisis is so severe, the U.S government is seriously considering flying planes up into the atmosphere to spray it with pollutants to reflect the sun rays.