South Africans use approximately 8 billion single use plastic shopping bags every year! This bag is a "convenient add-on" in our lives, meaning we actually do not need it in order to survive. An insignificant number of these are re-used and not many are recycled either. The majority of these bags are littered directly into nature which affects both land and ocean animals in many negative ways. Over a billion seabirds and mammals die annually due to swallowing plastic bags. 96% of plastic shopping bags end up in landfill where they last for many hundreds of years. Human health is also gravely affected in the manufacturing and disposal of plastic bags.
Banning the plastic shopping bag will be a powerful way to assist in solving some of South Africa's key issues related to litter, as well as drawing a line in the sand to say "we no longer choose to treat our environment with such unconscious disregard and disrespect!"
This petition is aimed at gaining support from South Africans who want to live in a cleaner, safer country, which protects it's heritage. That's all of us! With the committed voice of our people behind this Rethink The Bag campaign, the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, will be obliged to listen to the facts and take effective action.