Thursday, October 1

2 bags for 3 items

The other day I was in line at the grocery store and the lady in front of me was purchasing 3 items. Can you guess how many plastic bags she walked out with?

Yup. 2!

2 plastic bags for 3 stinkin items!

The only reason it was not 3 was because she opted to carry her gallon of milk instead of putting it in a bag.

This small, seemingly harmless act, infuriates me! Don't people get how bad these things are for the environment?

Don't they know how much precious 0il and resources go into producing those flimsy bags?

For those that don't, let me share some widely "known" facts about plastic bags:

  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene

  • Polyethylene is a petroleum product

  • It takes about 430,000 gallons of oil to produce 100 million nondegradable plastic bags

  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured worldwide annually

  • Production of these plastic bags contributes to air pollution and energy consumption

  • Every year Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year

  • Americans throw away approximately 100 billion polyethylene bags per year

  • Only 1 to 2% of plastic bags in the USA end up getting recycled.

  • It takes 250 bags to make 1 kilo of plastic - making recycling economically unfeasible

  • Plastic bags photo-degrade. Which means they break up into smaller pieces of toxic materials.

  • It takes ~1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down

  • As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil

  • Plastics bags have been found in the stomachs of many animals, on land and in the sea, some of which are endangered animals

  • Ingestion of plastic bags can result in blockages, internal infections, starvation and death

  • Thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution

  • Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can’t fly as a result.

  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags

  • ~ 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.

  • Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes

I can go on and on and on....

For my part I use reusable bags for all my shopping (not just grocery shopping) and I try to give reusable bags to as many people as I can; family, friends, strangers, blog readers, teachers, friends of friends. If there is ever a time that I can pass along a reusable bag I do!

I am hopefully that once they start using them they will see how much handier they are than plastic bags and they will be hooked.

I figure that, even if they only use it a couple of times, that is that many less plastic bags that are used.

If you do have a collection of plastic bags in your house, you can easily reuse them too (take them shopping with you instead of getting more) or recycle them. Just please, please, please keep them out of the landfill, the mouths of animals, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, our trees, our streams, our parks, etc...


Lisa Sharp said...

That upsets me as well. I have a reusable bag or two in my set that I take when we go grocery shopping to give to people. I thought it would be a good idea after a lady checking us out said "wow you have a lot of bags I only have a few, I should got more." So I wanted to have some in case something like that happens again.

I also have given a lot to family and friends. And I give the plastic bags my in-laws still use to my mom for cat poop.

Daisy said...

It is really upsetting to see so much waste. Yes, I categorize excess bags as waste.