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Bags in landfill
The Horrible Facts
Paper vs. Plastic
  • Plastic bags consume 40% less energy to produce than paper bags

  • Plastic bags generate 80% less solid waste than paper bags

  • During their lifecycle paper bags produce 70 times more air pollutants than plastic bags

  • Paper bags produce 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags

  • Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to decompose!
 
The Facts
Social responsibility

  • In 1960 almost 6.3 billion pounds of plastic was produced in the USA
  • By the early 1970’s the figure had tripled
  • By 1988 the USA produced approximately 50 billion pounds of plastic
  • HDPE (plastic) bags were introduced into circulation in 1977
  • It has been estimated that the worlds annual consumption of plastic shopping bags has reached in excess of 500 billion bags
  • The Wall Street Journal has estimated that the USA consumes 100 billion plastic bags annually (the equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil in the manufacturing process)
  • It is estimated that 53% of plastic shopping bags are distributed into circulation via supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Over recent years these outlets have reintroduced paper bags for customers in the belief that this was environmentally responsible.
Environmental Damage

  • Plastic never fully decomposes. Over time it goes through a process of photo degradation and breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces
  • These substances cannot be converted by any known organisms and as such remain as plastic in landfills, rivers and oceans
  • In a 1998 survey of the North Pacific Ocean, 89% of waste observed was plastic products
  • Sea turtles, whales and dolphins are among sea animals being directly affected by plastic waste products, often mistaking plastic bags for food, causing slow and painful deaths to these animals over a prolonged period of time.

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