Plastic bags are making our world look bad. The bags come from shops for carrying our shopping. When we get home, we empty the bags, and we sometimes use them in other ways. But when we have finished with plastic bags we often throw them away. But where do they go?
when paper bags get wet they rot. Plastic bags do not rot or disintegrate, even if they are buried. Many plastic bags blow around our towns and villages, then onto fields and grasslands. It looks very untidy. But, worse than this, cows, goats and wild animals sometimes eat the bags and die because they cannot digest them. It is a slow and painful death for them.
Bags are also washed into the sea. Bags can kill fish and other sea animals too. We do not mean to harm animals and fish, but they think the bags are something good to eat. Some rivers are so full of rubbish you can no longer swim or drink the water. We are careless when we let the bags blow away; then it is too late to stop the animals eating them. When sea animals, such as dolphins or turtles, see plastic bags filled with water in the sea, they think the bags are jellyfish, their favourite food. It is sad that such beautiful creatures die because people have been careless.
In Niger, a group of people have tried weaving ropes from old plastic bags. When farmers used these plastic ropes to tie their animals, the ropes were so strong they hurt the animals. However, these very strong ropes can be used for many other things.
In South Africa, in a very poor area, one lady makes hats from plastic bags. She cuts the bags into narrow strips and crochets them into lengths she can use for the hats. To make a long piece of string to crochet, she knots the pieces together or works in the ends to make everything look tidy. Many people wear the lady's hats. You might think that plastic would be too hot to wear, but the hats are very comfortable, even when the sun is shining strongly. They are easy to keep clean too – they can be wiped with a wet cloth and left to dry. Bags, sacks, mats and even chairs can be made in the same way. They are strong and will last a long time. They do not cost any money to make either. It is possible to begin a business making these things. They are useful, as well as helping to keep everywhere tidy.
Bags that are rubbish should be made into something useful. It is the same with people.
Jesus Christ wants to make us into people who are useful and beautiful inside. We do not need to feel as though we are rubbish and no good in the world.