Each year the US consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil! The pulp and paper industry is the 2nd largest user of energy in the US! (Paper or Plastic, Delicious Living Magazine. March, 2002).
More than 46,000 pieces of plastic contaminate each square mile of our oceans! (Reusable Bags Tackle Plastic Bag Mess. Organic Trade Ass.)
Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled annually, nationwide! It costs more to recycle a bag than it does to produce a new one!
Numerous recent international, national, state and local reports have called for the banning or drastic reduction of plastic bags due to their environmental damage. Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environmental Program, recently said "there is simply zero justification for manufacturing [plastic bags] any more, anywhere."
A study in 1975 showed oceangoing vessels dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world’s landfills aren’t overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill.
A plastic stew twice the size of Texas, has formed in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists have dubbed it the “Eastern Garbage Patch”, and its volume is growing at an alarming pace.
With plastic particles outnumbering plankton 6 to 1, it’s inevitably entering the food chain, of which YOU are at the top. Bon Appetit!
Plastic bags do not biodegrade, they photodegrade: Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which eventually contaminate soil and waterways everywhere.
Plastics, from large chunks to microscopic particles, have entered the food chain. The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic.
At least 267 different species of sea life have been scientifically documented to be adversely affected by plastic marine debris, including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles.. Plastic bags are considered especially dangerous to sea turtles, who may mistake them for jellyfish, a main food source. They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food.
Here is an alternative that will save the landfills (and the oceans) from all those plastic bags:
These market totes are made from feed sacks that family and friends save for me. I am selling them on ETSY.com/shop/GladiolaSmiles. They are very sturdy, 15x15x8 inches or whatever size you might want. They are washable and double stitched for strength. One tote will hold as much as numerous plastic bags and will last many, many years. We can all be good stewards of the planet and do our part by using up, reusing, repurposing, and recycling as much as possible.
If you learned something, or see something that you like, leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.