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Rubbish & Recycling Handling


Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.
National Geographic News September 2, 2003


Less than 1% of bags are recycled.  It cost more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one

Christian Science Monitor News Paper


“There's harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32”

Jared Blumenfeld
(Director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment)


Then…Where Do They Go?


A study in 1975, showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually.

The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic

was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill

U.S. National Academy of Sciences


Bags get blown around…

…to different parts of our lands

…and to our seas, lakes and rivers.


plastic bags plastic bags



Bags find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes November 16, 2007


Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen,

and as far south as the Falkland Islands

British Antarctic Survey


Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline

National Marine Debris Monitoring Program


Plastic bags photodegrade:
Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which eventually contaminate soils and waterways As a consequence microscopic particles can enter the food chain November 16, 2007 


The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic. Birds become terminally entangled

Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags

They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food

World Wildlife Fund Report 2005


plastic bags plastic bags




What do we do?


If we use a cloth bag, we can save 6 bags a week - That's 24 bags a month - That's 288 bags a year
That's 22,176 bags in an average life time


If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this
we would save
1,330,560,000,000 bags
over our life time


Bangladesh has banned plastic bags March 8, 2007


China has banned free plastic bags January 9, 2008


Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002 and

have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%

BBC News August 20, 2002


In 2005 Rwanda banned plastic bags

Associated Press


Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore  have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag February 16, 2008


On March 27th 2007, San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic bags (National Public Radio)


Oakland and Boston are considering a ban
The Boston Globe May 20, 2007


Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil November 16, 2007


Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency


China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags January 9, 2008


It is possible...

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