We all know that plastic bags are a huge global problem and hopefully becoming an endangered species. Every year 3 Trillion single use bags are used. Almost every country has recognized the plastic bag problem and some are finally getting around to doing something. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags. Four out of five grocery bags in the US are now plastic. Even worse only 5% of these bags are recycled.
The problem is not just in the United States, but for sure, the United States has NOT taken a leadership position against plastic pollution in general. Fortunately many cities and some states have stepped up to the plate to institute plastic bag laws and restrictions. While we might have better waste management systems but we still have an oil addiction, littering problems, and massive consumerism to overcome the pervasive problem of plastic waste.
I Just Have to Eco You: Plastic Bag Stats
- 1 Trillion Plastic Bags are used globally
- 2 Million Plastic Bags used per minute globally (Earth Policy Institute)
- 14 Plastic Bags use enough oil for a car to drive one mile.
- 6.9 billion plastic bags together end on end they would travel around the world 42.5 times.
- 300 million plastic bags end up in the Atlantic Ocean alone
- Thousands of animals die yearly from eating plastic. Animals include everything from marine life to cows to camels. Even if they did, their body decomposes and the plastic re-enters the environment.
- Plastic Bags cause floodings: The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 & 1998 were more severe because plastic bags clogged drains.
- $4,000 US to recycle 1 ton of plastic bags and sold for $32.00. In other words, this is not a money maker.
- 6.9 billion plastic bags a year of which 3.6 billion are plastic shopping bags are Used in Australia
- 3 Billion Plastic Bags per day used in China (Statistical Brain)
- Thailand is considered to be the worlds largest user of plastic bag. In fact 11,500 tons of garbage Bangkok produces each day — at least one ton is plastic and is growing by 10% a year.
- 1000 Years it takes a plastic bag to break down
Will the above countries make a difference in plastic pollution? That remains to be seen. The Plastic ‘Organizations’ are fighting it tooth and nail, many governments cannot implement plastic bag restrictions, their countries are too reliant on plastic or there is no infrastructure to implement laws. To top it off, there are many people that make a living off of plastic bag reuse.
The Global public needs to get educated on plastic bag devastation. Governments that have the will and means must implement plastic bag laws and eliminate the use of all plastic including plastic packaging, a huge problem as well. Plastic Bag manufacturers must find other resources for their plastic, whether supporting entrepreneurs that are reusing plastic bags or use in medical, building, clothing or myriads of other products.
Bottom Line: Every consumer globally needs to reduce their dependence on plastic.