Who is Plastic Bag Man?
Plastic Bags are not all bad, but when used excessively and in large numbers they can turn into Bag Man. They start as innocent balls of bags, however they can grow into a menacing creatures that cause all kinds of trouble. Bag Man is here to remind you of your annual consumption of single-use disposable bags – estimated to conservatively be 500 bags. The Bag Man is comprised of polyethylene retail carry-out grocery bags, which according to the United States International Trade Commission, in 2008 is 102 BILLION annually. If tied in a chain, this chain would circle the earth 776 times!*
N A S T Y P L A S T I C F A C T S
* 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.
* The amount of petroleum used to make 1 plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters.
* Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade- breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways. They then enter the foodweb when animals accidentally ingest them.
* 86% of all known species of sea turtles have had reported problems of entanglement or ingesting of marine debris.
* Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags. Not only that, these poor animals suffer a painful death. The plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death.
* Less than 5 percent of US shoppers use canvas, cotton, or mesh bags. Please change that number by choosing reusable bags when you shop.