By the Numbers

# plastic bags used worldwide each year


# of plastic bags used in the U.S. each year

# of TONS of bags discarded in U.S. annually

# sea turtles, whales, birds & other animals that die yearly from eating discarded plastic bags

# of plastic bags not used when just one reusable bag is used instead

# of plastic bags manufactured from the same amount of petroleum a car uses to drive a mile

Rank of plastic bags found in ocean refuse out of 43 types of waste (cigarette butts #1)

# of people it takes to make a difference

The first plastic sandwich bags were introduced in 1957. Department stores started using plastic bags in the late 1970s and supermarket chains
introduced the bags in the early 1980s. So, it was not too long ago that we actually didn't even use plastic bags.  We can learn to live without them again.

Additional FAQs:

  • 12 billion barrels of oil used to make the 100 million plastic bags used by Americans each year
  • 380 billion plastic bags or wraps are thrown away in the U.S. each year
  • 17 cents per bag in estimated disposal costs, wasting millions of tax dollars
  • 0 paper bags biodegrade in landfills due to lack of oxygen - Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways
  • After the implementation of a plastic bag tax, the use of plastic shopping bags in Ireland and Washington D.C. dropped approximately 90%.
  • When retailers give away “free” bags, their costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices
  • Only one to three percent of plastic bags are ever recycled or reused


 Thanks to www.Rootsandshoots.org and www.1bagatatime.org


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