If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know how fanatical I can be about taxpayer costs of litter and garbage. Since I have started picking up litter again- well it just pisses me off the amount of plastic bags and waste still in the streets!
I Just Gotta Tell Ya
- Californians Against Waste estimate that Americans consume 84 billion plastic bags annually
- Californians themselves discard about 19 billion bags each year
- The average family of four uses 1,500 plastic sacks a year.
- 4 million trees were cut down in 1999 to produce 10 billion grocery bags for Americans. The production and shipping of the bags also contributes to global warming and air pollution
- Plastic bags cost consumers about $4 Billion a year in increased good costs.
Here Are Some Of The Costs:
- 8 billion plastic bags per year enter the waste stream in the US alone. A typical landfill costs more than twenty million dollars to build and millions more per year in order to maintain. Nearly all that money comes from Taxpayers.
- California alone estimates that landfilling plastic costs taxpayer more than $750 million per year (BEC)
- California landfilled more than 17 million cubic yards of plastic or about a quarter of everything landfilled (BEC)
- Eventually the landfills will leak and can cause immense environmental damage. There will be large costs associated with cleaning up these messes in the future. Plastics in general makes up between 14 and 28% by volume of waste in general. Around the world over 200,000 plastic bags are dumped in landfills every hour (PlanetArk.com).
- City of San Francisco estimates that it alone spends about 8.5 million dollars on cleanup and disposal of littered plastic bags
- CalTrans, the agency responsible for California’s roadways, spent 16 million dollars on cleaning up litter on freeways. This number excludes the work done by volunteers or businesses participating in the adopt-a-highway program.
Bottom line- Get a reusable bag, refuse plastic bags at all stores, recycle and pick up any and all plastic bags floating on the streets.