Saturday, July 25

A very topline summary of plastic bags from

... 2002 marked the 25th anniversary of the plastic shopping bag. In this short period of time worldwide consumption has reached an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags per year. This enormous consumption has created several problems including: large volumes of pollution and wind-blown litter, significant resource consumption (primarily oil), high cost to retail industry (estimated at $30 billion annually) passed along to consumer in the form of higher prices. Ultimately, all these "free" bags cost both consumers and the environment plenty.

Top Plastic Bag Facts Presented by
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade - breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits, contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.
  • During Clean Up Australia Day, nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up to harvest them to weave hats and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78 degrees north (latitude) to Falklands 51 degrees south (latitude)."
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit center for Marine Conservation.


silverhartgirl said...

This is a great article. I really need to stop using plastic bags. I am going to put my reuseale bags in the truck.
If you have a minute could you please comments here

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Thanks for your comment silverhartgirl. I really appreciate it. Getting other to use reusable bags is a big passion/goal of mine. The more I can talk about it and let people know how important it is the more I hope people start to use them ;-)