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.