Do you fully understand the impact of plastic bags on our environment? Many consumers don’t realize how big of an issue this is becoming. Several countries around the world have put an end to the “free plastic bag” used in stores, drastically reducing the number of bags consumed nationwide. They do this by making consumers pay extra to use plastic bags, which many do not want to do. This forces people to bring their own reusable bags when making purchases. This practice is catching in both developed and developing countries such as Europe, South Africa, and Taiwan. This strategy has done wonders for local environments around the world and is helping them to move toward a greener future. When will the U.S. adopt a more sustainable approach to the plastic bag problem?
Plastic bags have an impact on wildlife, the Earth, and the management of garbage in landfills. In today’s world it is not uncommon to see plastic bags dancing along the highway or scattered along beautiful scenery. Many do not think twice about it. Additionally, many wild animals consume remnants of plastic bags resulting in fatality. Marine wildlife is among the most affected. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) estimates that there is about 46,000 pieces of plastic litter scattered across every square mile of the ocean.
The cost of producing and using alternative products such as paper or reusable bags has further complicated this issue. Convenience is the American lifestyle and it is often easier to throw materials away than it is to take them to a recycling center. However, reducing the use of plastic bags and other plastics is a great first step toward achieving a greener lifestyle because it is much easier than other measures such as driving less. Researchers estimate about 100 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. each year. Many do not consciously notice the effects of plastic bags and other plastics on the environment, but it is a problem that that the public should be paying attention to.
-only about 1-2% of plastic bags are recycled
-thousands of marine animals and about one million birds die each year due to the consumption of plastic
-animals mistake plastic bag remnants as food and ingest them
-plastic bags are made with petroleum which causes pollution during their production
-12 million barrels of oil are used to create the nearly 100 billion plastic bags used in the U.S. alone each year
-it is estimates retailers spend about $4 billion a year on plastic bags
-the average U.S. family uses about 1,460 plastic bags annually
Act today by eliminating the use of plastic bags, or reusing a single plastic bag multiple times. Consider taking any plastic bags currently in your home to a recycling plant! Also, move toward a greener future by adopting sustainable materials to everyday products! Polly Products can help you do that today! Visit our website at www.pollyproducts.com or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/pollyproducts to learn how our products are making an impact on communities all around you!