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What’s so bad about plastic bags?

Plastic bagsLots of municipalities are banning plastic bags.   My city, Newton, Massachusetts, has just jumped on the bandwagon and I'm really excited.  I'm hoping to see less plastic bag litter and pleased that there will be less plastic bag waste coming from our city.  

Here are some quick facts about WHY plastic bags are so bad for our environment.  

- The US uses 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year.  These bags are made from an estimated equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil.  

-  Plastic bags will take an estimated 300 to 1000 years to biodegrade.

- Anually, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die from contact with plastic bags that enter the ocean.

- Recycling one ton of plastic bags costs a whopping $4,000. The recycled product will then be sold for $32.

- The production of 1 pound of plastic for shopping bags produces about 6 pounds of CO2.  

What about paper?

All single use bags are bad for the envornment, but paper bags are not as bad as plastic.  Paper bags are much easier to recycle and are frequently recycled, whereas plastic bags are not. 

Remembering your reusable bags

I am definitely guilty of routinely forgetting my reusable bags.  Here are some tips to help you remember your reusable bags.