Some of the facts below will scare you. Read at your own risk.
How many plastic bags are consumed each year worldwide?
- The worldwide usage of plastic bags is estimated to be between 500 billion to 1 trillion every single year.
- Letâ€™s just say the world consumes 1 trillion plastic bags per year. If you divide this amount by 365 days, you get 2.7 billion plastic bags used per day worldwide.
- If you divide by 24 hours, you get 114 million plastic bags used per hour worldwide.
- If you divide by 60 minutes, youâ€™ll get 1.9 million plastic bags used per minute worldwide.
- Finally, lets divide by 60 seconds.
Every second the clock ticks, the world would have consumed nearly 32,000 plastic bags!
How many plastic bags are consumed each year in the United States?
- The average family accumulates between 10-15 plastic bags per grocery store visit.
- The United States itself goes through around 100 billion plastic bags per year costing retailers around 4 billion dollars. This cost is indirectly passed on to consumers.
How are plastic and plastic bags affecting our oceans?
- Around 10% of plastic produced every year ends up in our oceans. 70% of which end up on ocean floors where it will likely never degrade.
- There are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating within each square mile of ocean.
- In 2008, plastic bags are the second most common type of ocean waste behind cigarette butts.
- Small plastic bags made up about 9 percent of the debris found along various U.S. coasts.
- Plastic bags are responsible for numerous marine animal deaths each year.
How long do plastic bags take to degrade?
- HDPE plastic bags can take up 20 years to degrade in ideal situations. In poor conditions such as landfills, it can take up to 1,000 years.
- Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.
How are plastic bags affecting you?
Plastic bags do not biodegrade, instead, they photo-degrade into tiny pieces that soak up toxins (such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)).
The intoxicated plastic pieces eventually find their way in our soil, waterways, and are eaten by small animals that also eventually make its way to our food supply.
What percentage of plastic bags is recycled?
- Around 4 million tons of plastic bags, sacks, and wraps were produced in 2008 worldwide, 90% were discarded.
- Only .5% to 3% of all plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
- The numbers are better in the United States where EPA estimates around 12% of plastic bags are recycled.
- Surveys show that more than 90 percent of United States consumers reuse their plastic bags at least once for things like trashcan liners, lunch bags, and pet pickâ€ups.
I hope youâ€™re convinced. Start recycling plastic bags today!