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How often do you purchase plastic bags for your shopping? Every time you visit a store? Once every now and then? Never? While they’re certainly convenient, plastic bags pose a significant threat to our environment, including considerable waste, excessive flooding due to clogging of drains and other areas, and substantial harm to our oceans and hundreds of species of marine life.And while plastic bags are used for only an average of 12 minutes at a time, they remain in our ecosystem for thousands of years.

peng crop

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s estimated that somewhere between five hundred billion and one trillion plastic bags are used each year – and South Africans contribute 8 billion to this enormous number. It’s for this reason that in 2018, Blue Route Mall first launched its ‘#banthebag’ initiative, and why it’s still ongoing to this day.

By far the best way to combat the escalating plastic trend is by reusing plastic bags, or switching to reusable, environmentally friendly bags altogether. Not only will this help to prevent excess numbers of new plastic bags being deposited in landfills or thrown away as litter, it will help to save money on the continued purchasing of single use bags as well.

Jukskei River

In its own capacity, Blue Route Mall has been steadily working towards a bag-free environment over the past year, with currently 32 of its retailers having banned the sale of plastic bags within their stores altogether. Additionally, Woolworths has selected its Blue Route Mall store as the first in its chain to trial its paper bag initiative, moving from using plastic bags for fashion, beauty and homeware purchases to specially designed paper bags instead. Made from 100% recycled paper, these new bags are fully recyclable, easily disposable, and a significant step in the direction towards a completely plastic bag-free environment.

While this new trial represents an exciting, innovative contribution towards environmental sustainability, the responsibility still lies with each and every one of us. The more we all commit to reusing plastic bags, or purchasing reusable, environmentally friendly ones, the more we can collectively contribute to our planet’s well-being.

With this in mind, Blue Route Mall would like to encourage all shoppers to support its #banthebag initiative, and reduce their purchase of single-use plastic bags. Together, we can make a difference, and work towards a brighter, more sustainable future!

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