The United States has one of the worst and most harmful waste pollution problems in the advanced world. Americans often just throw all of their trash away instead of disposing of it properly, mostly because people don’t think about where their garbage ends up. Here are a few little tidbits of information that may change the way you think about plastic bags.
- The average plastic bag is only used for twelve minutes, but it takes thousands of years for them to decompose
- Though retailers don’t normally charge their customers for plastics bags directly, they increase the prices of their products to compensate.
- Only 3% of plastic bags are recycled annually.
- Approximately one billion animals die from ingesting plastic bags each year.
- Target annually gives out enough plastic bags to circle the earth seven times.
- Unfortunately the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
So next time you need to run to the grocery store, remember the threat that each plastic bag you use poses to the environment. If you’re only grabbing a couple items you can skip the bag entirely, or you can invest a few dollars into reusable bags that will cut down your waste significantly.
Changing your habits can be hard, especially since our society encourages these habits. But continuously making small adjustments to your routine and seeing things with a wider perspective can do a lot for our planet. It is up to us Millennials and Centennials to change the way things work in order to save the world!
Sources: Center for Biological Diversity, EcoWatch, Envirosax