Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Firstly, Happy 2012! I hope it’s a wonderful year. It’s definitely been a better one for environmental awareness and activism. It’s even been a good one for environmental products. Yes, I come with good tidings. We now have biodegradable garbage bags made by our very own Sanita. I’m proud.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, biodegradable plastic bags are made of natural materials that compost with organic trash, such as leaves, food, liquids, etc. Given that they are not made with any toxic chemicals, their main advantage  is that they do not harm the environmental in their manufacturing, use, and disposal. In addition, they do not harm wildlife or marine life, since they biodegrade in water and disintegrate if swallowed. The best way to check if plastic bags truly are environmentally friendly is to look on the back of the box and made sure there is no “polyethylene” written there. This is the chemical term for regular plastic, and these are very harmful to the environment.

Regular plastic bags are made with toxins. After their use, most plastic bags either go into landfills or are burned, filling the air with toxic fumes. If these bags become litter, they fill our sea and streets and take an average of 400 years to decompose. In addition, many animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and die. This is a large problem in Lebanon, as our sea turtles think these bags are jellyfish and eat them; our once-famous turtle is now an endangered species due to this problem.

On an economic note, petroleum is required to make plastic bags.  Indeed, to make plastic, about 60 – 100 million barrels of oil are needed annually worldwide. It is important to bear in mind that petroleum is diminishing in its availability and is becoming more and more expensive. Surely it makes more sense to use more eco-friendly materials!

As such, our biodegradable plastic bags are a happy alternative. What’s even better is that these bags are locally produced. We get to boost our own economy and help our environment as well. So let’s do it, Lebanon!