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What To Do With All Those Pesky Plastic Bags

posted 3/2/2016

How many plastic bags found a new home with you last week? Considering the average American family brings home 1,500 plastic bags a year (Natural Resources Defense Council), you very likely acquired at least one plastic bag each day. The use of plastics bags has steadily increased in the last 50 years and clearly, they are extremely prevalent in our everyday lives. In fact, plastic bags are one of the most visible signs of pollution there is, extending across the entire planet. So how does one realistically stop contributing to the plastic bag madness?

Reduce

The best alternative to dependence on plastics bags is to switch to reusable cloth or jute shopping bags. Carry them in your car or purse to keep them handy for those spur of the moment purchases.

Reuse & Recycle

If you find yourself with plastic bags you don’t want or need, learn how to properly dispose of them to reduce the environmental impact. If you have to throw them away, take a moment to knot them before you toss them to prevent them from becoming blowing litter.

Why It Matters

  • Litter – Plastic bags can be seen taking flight on a windy days, littering our yards, streets, fields, communities and waterways. 
  • Non-Biodegradable – Plastic bags do not fully decompose in the landfill. They gradually just turn into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. They also become a major source of waterway pollution.
  • Natural Resources – Plastic bags are made from oil and natural gas, both of which are non-renewable. Americans use and throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil per year to manufacture. (The Wall Street Journal).