|Image by WJ Nichols|
Here are some statistics about plastic bags that were shared with me by the kind folks at Conserve Now:
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers: $4 billion)
- Only 1-3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
- Industry figures show 90% of all grocery bags are plastic.
- Plastic bags are made of polyethylene which is a petroleum product. Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.
- It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down.
- Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade -- breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways. They they enter the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.
- 86% of all known species of sea turtles have had reported problems of entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.
- Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags.
Check out the website for more ideas on how to make the most of your smart environmental choices, as well as taking them to the next level. You can find the latest information on living green at http://www.conservingnow.com/teaching-our-children.
This is the year for you to make a difference. Here's a good start.
Keeping it green,