B.Y.O.Bs – Bring Your Own Bags!
This is one of the simplest ways to make an enormous difference in the world we live in. A very small deed that will have a very large impact on the environment.
People are always asking what can I do to make a difference, what is Green Living, it is too much work to be Green or Eco-consious, It cost too much money!
I want to tell you right now that if you only do one simple thing to be a little Greener, more eco-consious, too make a difference – One Thing! Stop using plastic shopping bags! Just say no to plastic bags!
Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that somewhere between 500 million and 0ne Trillion are consumed worldwide each year, less than 1% bags are recycled and it costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one! It is also suggested that plastic bags take in excess of 450 years to fully decompose, if ever! So where do these bags end up?
We see them in the streets, in water drains, in fields, in trees, the plastic bag has become an Urban Tumbleweed. They fill our landfills and the icing on this disgusting cake is what is known as Plastic Soup or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
This garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is composed primarily of plastic. The size of this patch is estimated to be at least as large as Texas, and perhaps as large as the United States.
Some Facts About Plastic Shopping Bags:
- Plastic bags are made of polyethylene
- Polyethylene is a petroleum product
- Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
- Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
- Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags per year
- Americans throw away approximately 100 billion polyethylene bags per year
- Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled
- It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
- As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain
- Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
- Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals. 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.
- These animals suffer a painful death, the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death
- Plastic bag choke landfills
- Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes
- Reuse plastic shopping bags and wraps
- Use wax paper instead of polyethylene products
- Utilize reusable shopping bags made of cloth or hemp
- Recycle your plastic shopping bags by returning them to the store
- If you forget your reusable shopping bag, opt for paper
- Minimize your garbage output by composting and recycling
- Write to your local and federal governments to demand environmentally-friendly bags (they do exist)
- Tell others about the harmful impact of plastic bag usage
- 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in one year (2008).
- Tap water is cleaner, cheaper and healthier than store-bought water.
- 60 billion single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, and 3 out of 4 were thrown out directly after use.
- Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.
- Plastic trash absorbs pre-existing organic pollutants like BPA and PCBs.
- Along with plastic bags, plastic bottles are among the most prevalent sources of pollution found on our beaches. (Ocean Conservency)
- The extremely slow decomposition rate of plastic bottles leaves them to drift on the ocean for untold years.
- When plastics break down, they don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade. This means the materials break down to smaller fragments. These readily absorb toxins which contaminate soil, waterways, and animals upon digestion.
Remember every piece of plastic ever produced and not recycled still exists!
“Think Green, Live Green and Go Green America!”
About the Author (Author Profile)
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!