Just say NO to Plastic bag : The Global Warming Survival Guide


Never too late to start saving our planet. To Malaysians, this positive cause is,unfortunately, not popular or preferred by many of us. Why bother to recycle, why bother to separate the types of rubbish we throw, and why bother say NO to plastic bags? There are certainly many ways  we can do to save our planet and decrease the effects of global warming. Other countries such as the UK and the USA have campaigned for the plastic-bag free cause. Marks and Spencer for example charges its customers a least a minimum amount of 5p per plastic bag. That’s one of the reasons why you see people start bringing their own bag. I saw this during my last visit to the UK 2 years ago. Malaysia, at the current moment, is obviously not an environment friendly country. Admit it, most of us do litter. And most of us are not aware how our small habits of doing and managing certain things in our lives, are actually eroding and killing the earth day by day. We don’t care, we don’t bother, we’re lazy to do our cause, we mind our own business, we just don’t care. Not caring(at least for the nature) is an act of ignorance and selfishness.Think about it 🙂

say no to plastic bags

I started doing my small bit after reading about the ‘No Plastic Bag Bazaar’.  I already planned to go, but couldn’t find the place ! The Garmin didn’t help, and calling up the organizer for direction didn’t help either. LOL. But their cause is for the sake of the earth, that’s why I didn’t mind walking around BB area for nearly 2 hours on a fasting day. But still tak jumpa the place. But nevertheless, I do support the organizer’s cause. Now, my own part of the story. I went to the supermarket a few days ago. Usually at the cashier, the cashier will swipe the items on the price code/bar, and then another person will put them into plastic bags. I said, ‘No plastic bag please’. 🙂 So into the trolley,and straight to my car. I forgot to bring my own reusable bag that time. But yesterday, I brought my reusable Levi’s bag! ahahha.. Is Levi;s also supporting this green campaign? I’m not so sure about that.  Taking my own bag, so far, is not a hassle. Does it matter if other people give you a weird look at the cashier? I would say no. Why? Because this is Malaysia. Expect people to look at you, wondering what you’re doing. If you’re in the US, UK, Canada, Japan and Delhi,India, people might be impressed that you’re part of the green act ! So, I’m doing my small bit here, and wish to share it with you. It is EASY to say NO to plastic bags.

To be exact, the first two examples which I shared wasn’t exactly the first time I said No to plastic bags. Usually in uni, i buy a few things from the sundry shop before going for class. Say a mineral water, or some sweets. Just small items that I don’t need a plastic bag. I just put them in my handbag, pocket, or just hold it.  Once I was queuing up at the sundry shop, the girl in front of me is buying a mineral water. The 500ml one. Small bottle.  The shopkeeper/cashier asked the girl ‘Nak plastic bag?’ (meaning do you want/need a plastic bag (for the bottle)). Girl replies ‘Boleh jugak’. (Can also/sure.).. In my head, ‘..Oh God, can’t she just hold it with her hands? ‘ Why are we so gung-ho about plastic bags… ermmmm…

We, Malaysians, should open up ourselves to gain more knowledge and awareness in saving our planet, living a greener earth and saving it, for our future generation. 🙂 There are obviously many other web links, website and personal blogs where you can read up on the No Plastic Bags campaign. Scroll below to read some excerpts I got from a couple of other links. But to me, I don’t have to khatam or finish up reading a dozen blogs before starting to do something. I’ve started doing my part, and hopefully this will keep on going !

Carolyn Sayre

The plastic bags you bring home from the supermarket probably end up in a landfill. Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are distributed, and less than 3% of those bags are recycled. They are typically made of polyethylene and can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases. Reducing your contribution to plastic-bag pollution is as simple as using a cloth bag (or one made of biodegradable plant-based materials) instead of wasting plastic ones. For your next trip to the grocery store, BYOB.

Julie Burtinshaw

There is one simple action we can all take that will have an enormous impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants. The next time you shop, don’t leave the store carrying a plastic bag. If everyone did this, one of the most lethal polluters created by man would be removed from circulation.

Consider the following shocking facts about plastic shopping bags:

  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene
  • Polyethylene is a petroleum product
  • Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
  • Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags per year
  • Americans throw away approximately 100 billion polyethylene bags per year
  • Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled
  • It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
  • As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
  • Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals. 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.
  • These animals suffer a painful death, the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death
  • Plastic bag choke landfills
  • Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes
  • There are alternatives to plastic bags. All of this death and pollution is unnecessary

Countries all over the world are slowly becoming aware of the threat plastic bags present to our world. Many have enacted laws aimed to decrease the use of plastic bags, while others have, or are, planning to impose taxes on the use of plastic bags.

Even large corporations are getting on board. For example, Real Canadian Superstore charges customers 5 cents per bag and IKEA has vowed to discontinue the use of plastic bags in all of their stores as well as exerting pressure on their suppliers to take the same action.

These forward thinking, socially conscious countries, cities and corporations should be commended, but the reality is, none of these steps would be necessary if individuals would make the same commitment, or if at the very least, people would do the following:Read more

No to plastic bags
Other places/countries in support of NO PLASTIC BAGS (click on the countries/places’ links below to read more on the respective local campaigns):

Peace+Green for us and the future generations !
Peace+Green for us and the future generations !

12 Steps to making yourself plastic free

Step 1:
Admit to yourself you are a bag-addict – and had better do something about it before you stuff up your country, your kids’ future and a whole lot of innocent wildlife.
Step 2:
Come to believe that you have the power to reject plastic shopping bags. That you can truly live without them. That this power will set you free!

Step 3:
Make a firm decision to reject plastic shopping bags, now and forever. Take part in the Plastic Bag Famine and always carry a reusable bag wherever you go.

Step 4:
Find out about the mess plastic bags are making of the world. The waste, the choked landfills, the polluted rivers and estuaries, the dead animals, the litter, the greenhouse emissions. Ask yourself: why did I ever become a bag-addict?

Step 5:
Confess your addiction to others. Go into your home, workplace or the pub and cry in a loud, proud voice “I am a bag addict”. Be absolutely honest about your addiction to unrecyclable rubbish.

Step 6:
Reflect on your bag-crimes. The 25,000 plastic bags you will use in your lifetime were each used for minutes – but they will still be here when your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren inhabit the place. And their descendents. What kind of ancestor are you?

Step 7:
Reflect on whether it was ignorance, laziness or stupidity that made you use plastic bags in the first place. Take a vow to correct these character defects in other aspects of your life as a consumer.

Step 8:
Make a list of all the harms which your prodigal and unthinking use of plastic bags has caused.

Step 9:
Take some action, small or great, to make amends in each case.

Step 10:
Lay the foundation for a bag-free future. Beware of the habits that could cause you to lapse back into your old, polluting ways. Always carry a re-useable bag as a symbol of your freedom.

Step 11:
Having purged yourself of evil ways, go forth and give some other ugly polluter a serve. Harangue your family, your friends, the shop assistant, the people in the checkout queue and your local politician without drawing breath and without mercy. Never give up until they do.

Step 12:
Reflect proudly that, if you never do another damn thing in your life, in giving up plastic bags you have done something worthwhile for the world. You deserve a bloody medal.
THANK YOU for your time. God Bless.

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