THE HARSH FACTS OF PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS
Ponder on these shocking facts of plastic shopping bags:
• Plastic bags are made of polyethylene. Polyethylene is a petroleum product
• Approximately 60 – 100 million barrels of petroleum are required to make the world’s plastic bags each year
• Production of plastic bag contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
• The manufacture of plastic bags add tonnes of carbon emissions into the air annually
• In the UK, banning plastic bags would be the equivalent of taking 18,000 cars off the roads each year
• Between 500 billion to 5 trillion plastic bags are manufactured and used worldwide each year
• Only 1% of the trillions manufactured are recycled
• Most polyethylene plastic bags take over 400 years to biodegrade. Some figures indicate that plastic bags could take over 1000 years to break down.
• As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain
• Plastic bag choke landfills. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape, that continue to pollute the soil and water.
• Plastic bags also pose a serious danger to birds and marine mammals that often mistake them for food. Thousands die each year after swallowing or choking on discarded plastic bags and cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year.