- Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
- It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile.
- The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.
- According to Waste Management, only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling. That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year; the rest end up in landfills or as litter.
- Up to 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution enters the ocean from land.
- At least 267 different species have been affected by plastic pollution in the ocean.
- 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually.
- One in three leatherback sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs.
- Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes.
- It takes 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
For ages, we had been using single use plastic bags without realizing the adverse impact it is having on the environment and the birds and fishes and other animals. These bags do not degrade and though cheap are turning out to be expensive on our environment and for our future generations. A conscious effort has to be done by all to start using re-usable bags which are made out of biodegradable materials. The schools will have to start educating the importance of making this change, so that the children can start taking this message back home to educate the adults.
From bin bags, shopping bags, on a daily basis everyone needs to find an alternative environmentally friendly bags which can serve the purpose.
We have started evaluating whatever we are using in terms of what can we replace or reject using plastic. Every little effort counts in making this a movement, there is already awareness but it requires additional effort and awareness on the part of business, government, general public to make it much more effective. Councils and Governments should include this in their education and communication. Savings or switching should be recognized and encouraged. I am happy this team has come up with something which will encourage the farmers, at the same time makes profit for the social cause and makes this a better environment for our children and grandchildren.