Plastic bags are ubiquitous. Each year the world goes through some 500 Billion plastic bags. Of that, WorldWatch Institute estimates that about 100 Billion are used and discarded in the US alone, at the cost of 12 million barrels of oil.
Only about 2% of these bags are recycled. Most have a short lifetime with a consumer — they are used for the few minutes it takes to get from the store to home and then they’re thrown away. Plastic shopping bags can last up to a thousand years in a landfill. In the environment, they break down into tiny, toxic particles that become part of the soil and water. They contribute to the plastic debris in the ocean that kill an estimated 1 million sea creatures each year.
Eliminating the use of disposable plastic bags is about more than just the environment, it is about health, sustainability, economics and ultimately, the quality of our life.