What motivated me to use reusable grocery bags instead of the plastic ones are the photos on this page and the data available to us with respect to the impact grocery bags have on our environment, wildlife and, ultimately, our own health ....
Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency states that between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed each year.
- Relevant News Article: Facts and figures regarding the true cost of plastic bags
A study in 1975 showed that vessels dumped 8 million pounds of plastic into our oceans annually (~10% of which consists of plastic bags). The only reason why the world's landfills aren't overflowing with plastic is because most of it ends up in an ocean-fill.
- Relevant Articles:
- The Impact of Plastic Waste on the Environment, Wildlife and the Health of Humans
- Plastic: Ocean Pollution - the environmental impact, as well as the impact it has on animals and humans
Bags kill animals - particularly birds and marine life - when the animals become entangled in the plastic or when they mistake pieces of plastic for food.
Plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade, and can pose risks even when it has degraded as they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers that pollute our environment. They are also believed to adversely affect landfill operations by interfering with moisture distribution.
Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene - which is derived from oil. Eliminating the use of plastic bags will also decrease our dependency on oil.
Few things are more wasteful than plastic bags. They are used for an average 15 minutes - and then discarded. It costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one.
I feel kinship to, and gratitude for, people who care to take this little step that will have such a huge impact on our environment and benefit generations not even born yet ...
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