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Killer Plastic Bags


Photo Credit: Mixy Lorenzo

To my disappointment, I recently learned that less than one percent of plastic bags are recycled, since the cost of recycling one bag is greater than the cost of producing a new one. So what happens to all these plastic bags that aren’t recycled?

The answer to my question left me despondent. Although I knew that plastic bag pollution was problem, I didn’t know just how destructive it was. I didn’t know that about 1 million plastic bags are used every minute, that every square mile of ocean has 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it, and that most of that plastic will float to the ocean floor where it will may never degrade. Plastic that floats near the oceans surface slowly gets degraded by the sun and eventually turns into smaller, more toxic particles. These microscopic pollution particles easily enter the food chain and are ingested by animals. Nearly 200 different species of marine life are killed each year due to plastic bags alone, including whales, seals, dolphins, and turtles.

Plastic bag taxes and bans are becoming more widespread every year. Opt to be a part of this movement and use a cloth bag instead of plastic. You could save around 300 plastic bags from entering the ocean each year, and maybe even an animal’s life.

Kaelin McAtee

written by Kaelin McAtee

Browse other posts by Kaelin McAtee »

3 Responses to “Killer Plastic Bags”

  1. Malia says:

    This is a great story, Kaelin. It really makes me think about the everyday things that require plastic bags that we citizens don’t tend to think twice about. I think everyone should be more cognizant of the fact that it is truly affecting our environment on a level that is more than what meets the eye.

  2. Charlie says:

    Great article, I hope lots of people think before they take purchases home from stores in plastic bags, especially if they can just carry the items. Reusable canvas bags are a great way to help the environment and once you get in the habit of using them they are fast and convenient.

  3. elizabeth says:

    Wow! I will take this to heart. I new plastic debris in the ocean was a grave problem…I didn’t have any idea of the magnitude. Thanks for the article.

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