People, Environment

Iranians Use 45 Million Plastic Bags Daily

Iranians Use 45 Million  Plastic Bags DailyIranians Use 45 Million  Plastic Bags Daily

Studies show that every Iranian household uses at least three plastic bags daily on average, which reach a total of 45 million bags per day across the country.

“This excessive use of unrecyclable material is alarming and should serve as a wakeup call,” according to Hossein Abiri Golpayegani, an environmentalist, IRNA reported.

Unofficial data suggest that 500 tons of plastic bags are used in Tehran alone every day and 3,000 tons across the country.

“Plastic bags and disposable dishes take between 400 and 500 years to degrade and once they break down, they release chemicals that can damage vegetation and make farmlands infertile,” Golpayegani told ISNA.

To prevent damage to the environment and reduce the use of plastic bags, the activist suggested replacing them with fabric bags or, if necessary, be reused several times before being disposed.

“Environmentalists have tried and failed to convince the Oil Ministry to stop offering petroleum products to petrochemical companies for the production of plastic bags and invest in organic and eco-friendly material instead,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency.


  Gone in 3 Years

The Department of Environment has a three-year plan aimed at eliminating plastic shopping bags in the Iranian capital Tehran.

The plan focuses on three main objectives: reducing the production and distribution of plastic bags, avoiding their use and replacing them with fabric bags and other reusable alternatives, and reusing the existing bags.

DOE will cooperate with supermarkets to phase out plastic bags and replace them with eco-friendly alternatives.

Disposable bags have proven to be a huge source of pollution. Statistics show around one million bags are produced every minute across the world.

According to research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, between 500 billion and 1 trillion disposable bags are used each year worldwide, which is an average of 150 bags per person per year.

Plastic bags, while only used for an average of about 12 minutes, remain in landfills, oceans and other places for thousands of years.

Many developed nations have laws in place to reduce or ban plastic bag consumption, or have taken measures to promote the use of reusable, biodegradable material.

In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, plastic bags are taxed, while Italy banned the use of single-use plastic bags in 2010.

The European Parliament has passed a directive to reduce plastic bag use by 50% by 2017 and 80% by 2019. Member states are obliged to ban or restrict the use of lightweight plastic bags.

Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh in Asia as well as Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana in Africa have followed suit.