Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Danger of Plastic Bags

After reading this maybe you'll think twice before taking or buying a new plastic bag. Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It cost more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one ($4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32).

A study in 2004 showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill.

Some information-Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen, and as far south as the Falkland Islands-Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline-Plastic bags photodegrade: over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro – polymers. As a consequence microscopic particles can enter the food chain, nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags. They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food.

If we use a cloth bag, we can save 6 bags a week, that's 24 bags a month, that's 288 bags a year -> 22,176 bags in an average life time.

If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our life time.

Bangladesh has banned plastic bags.

China has banned free plastic bags.

Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002 and have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%.

Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag.

On March 27th 2007, San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic bags.

shopping bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil. Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency. 

China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags.

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