German conservation foundation Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin highlighted the issue of waste and sustainability in dramatic style recently with a successful attempt at the record for longest chain of plastic bags.
Thousands of Berliners of all ages helped knot the bags together during the attempt which took place in the German capital’s Tempelhofer Feld in July as part of the Umweltfest environmental festival.
Organised in conjunction with Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DUH) and Berlin’s public cleansing service Berliner Stadtreinigung , the nine kilometre long chain perfectly illustrated the issue of waste, with the record-breaking amount of 30,000 bags used corresponding to the current hourly plastic bag consumption in Berlin.
That adds up to 710,000 thousand bags per day, and 260 million per year with most used for no more than 25 minutes.
Adding to the problem, the majority of bags are not recycled and end up in the incinerator, or worse, discarded in the landscape, in turn endangering wildlife.
The attempt was financed by funds of Trenntstadt Berlin an initiative aimed at reducing and preventing packaging waste.
Speaking after the attempt, Sylke Freudenthal, Deputy Director Foundation Executive Board of SNB said: “After months of preparation, the world record was a wonderful success. With the action taken, the participants have sent an important message to politicians and trade.
"Plastic bags are an enormous problem and absolutely unnecessary. There already are alternatives like re-usable bags that should be used instead”
The record beat a previous benchmark set by Sea Life Deutschland GmbH in 2013 when a chain of 4.2 kilometres consisting of 10,615 plastic bags was created during an event in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany.