The True Cost Of A Plastic Bag

This week, a 5p charge was introduced on plastic carrier bags in England, bringing it into line with the rest of the UK. The charge will go to charity, though hopefully not the scaremongering NSPCC or the hearse-chasing RSPCA. Although the rules are complicated, you will probably have noticed an effect already in your local supermarket; this is what is known as the tragedy of the commons. If something is free – more often if someone else is paying for it – more of it will be used. The British Government and indeed all responsible governments worldwide hope such measures will reduce the damage this indestructible substance does to the environment.

Sadly, the true cost of a plastic bag cannot be measured in mere money, as the pictures below demonstrate horrifically. All are screengrabs from YouTube where you will find a lot more of the same.

A gull caught up with a plastic bag

A gull caught up with a plastic bag

 

Rescuing a baby crow with its foot ensnared by a plastic bag.

Rescuing a baby crow with its foot ensnared by a plastic bag.

 

To you it may look like a plastic bag, but to a turtle it looks like a jellyfish.

To you it may look like a plastic bag, but to a turtle it looks like a jellyfish.

 

What is really horrific here is not the amount of  rubbish removed from this dead bird but the fact that this happened on the isolated Pihemanu Island.

What is really horrific here is not the amount of rubbish removed from this dead bird, but the fact that this happened on the isolated Pihemanu Island.

 

This photograph shows even animals at the top of the food chain are not exempt. These plastic bags were removed from the stomach of a whale.

This photograph shows even animals at the top of the food chain are not exempt. These plastic bags were removed from the stomach of a whale.

About the author

Alexander Baron