Americans use and dispose of 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year
and at least 12 million barrels of oil are used per year in the
manufacture of those plastic grocery bags.
The Wall Street Journal
Less than 5 percent of plastic grocery bags are recycled in the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
Plastic bags were introduced into supermarkets in 1977.
Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean
contains about 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.
Researchers have found that plastic debris acts like a sponge for toxic chemicals,
soaking up a million fold greater concentration (than surrounding water) of such deadly compounds as PCBs and DDE. Becoming highly toxic poison to marine animals
which frequently consume these particles.www.sprep.org/factsheets/pdfs/plasticbags.pdf
Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down,
so even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.
There is now six times more plastic debris in parts of the North Pacific Ocean
At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement
or ingestion of plastic marine debris.
The amount of petroleum used to make a plastic bag would drive a car about 115 metres.
It would take only 14 plastic bags to drive one mile!www.sprep.org/factsheets/pdfs/plasticbags.pdf
The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas and chemicals.
Its production is toxic to the air.
Packaging now accounts for 1/3 of all household waste.
Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.
In 2007 in the U.S., about 31 million tons, or 12.1 percent of total municipal waste, was plastic.www.thegreenguide.com/home-garden/energy-saving/greenwashing/2
Over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year,
costing retailers an estimated $4 billion.
Americans spent $15 billion on 8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2006.
Americans consume 190 billion sodas, juice drinks, and other
beverages packaged in plastic or glass bottles and aluminum cans each year.
That's over 650 containers per person per year—
or almost two containers a day for every person living in the United States.
Only 14% of plastic water bottles are recycled.