Here are some reasons for us all as residents, organizations, and businesses to consider reducing our use of plastic and plastic bags.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers: $4 billion)
- Only 1%-3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
- Industry figures show 90% of all grocery bags are plastic.
- Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which is a petroleum product, and their production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.
- It takes 1,000 years for polyethylene bags to break down.
- The amount of petroleum used to make 1 plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters.
- Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil and waterways. They then enter the foodweb when animals accidently ingest them.
- 86% of all known species of sea turtles have had reported problems of entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.
- Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags. These poor animals suffer a painful death. The plastic wraps around their intestines, or they choke to death.
- Less than 5% of US shoppers use canvas, cotton, or mesh bags. Please change that number by choosing reusable bags when you shop.