An small decision for mankind, a giant difference for nature.
Well, we don't really have to know all the details on the life cycle of paper or plastic bags. It's convincing envough if we look at the facts which are disturbing indeed. While everyone speaks of oil spills a major catastrophe for the ecosystems in and around the Golf of Mexico, there is an even more powerful threat to our oceans. All of them.
Scientists recently have discovered a huge collection of plastic debris somewhere between Hawaii and California, a few feet underneath the water surface of the pacific ocean. Huge really means huge: The plastic covers an area thats four times as large as Germany, and experts believe that this is only a fraction of what's really there in our oceans.
Two main problems come with this: First, animals (fish, birds, sea turtles etc.) can't distinguish those particles from what's on their food plan - when eating them, their stomach gets stuffed and remains stuffed, as plastic cannot be processed by the organism. Eventually, these animals starve with a full stomach. Second: The plastic cuts off the sunlight, which organisms in deeper areas desperatly need to survive. Thus, these organisms are not available within the oceans food chains. We have no idea what consequences this may have for other species.
This plastic of course is all human made, and it will not rot for many decades to come. Even worse: There is much more plastic debris ending up as floating particles in the years ahead. So if next time we're asked for paper of plastic, how would we decide?
But please go on with brainworking: There are so many occasions in busines and private life where we could reduce plastic consumption. So start now!