Nobody can deny that plastic is one of the most useful materials ever developed. It is used for all sorts of things, from wrapping food to making automotive components. Unfortunately plastic has two major disadvantages; it comes from a non-renewable resource, ie petroleum, and it is basically non-biodegradable. An item from the Journal of the Natural Heritage Trust reports that Australians use about 6.9 billion plastic bags annually, enough to stretch around the world 37 times if tied together. Unfortunately up to 80 million of these bags end up as litter – in our streets, parks and waterways. Plastic bags can take years to break down after use and, because they are so lightweight, they easily blow out of rubbish bins and travel large distances. It is estimated that more than 100,000 animals and birds die every year as a result of plastic bag litter. One way of reducing plastic litter is to recycle your plastic bags. Another option is to take your own calico or string bag when shopping.