The Dangers of Plastic Bags
Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.
Less that 1% of bags are recycled. It costs more to recycle a bag than it does to produce a new one.
There’s harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32
A study in 1975 showed oceangoing vessels dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world’s landfills aren’t overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill.
A plastic stew twice the size of Texas, has formed in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists have dubbed it the “Eastern Garbage Patch”, and its volume is growing at an alarming pace.
With plastic particles outnumbering plankton 6 to 1, it’s inevitably entering the food chain, of which YOU are at the top. Bon Appetit!
Plastic bags do not biodegrade, they photodegrade: Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which eventually contaminate soil and waterways everywhere.
Plastics, from large chunks to microscopic particles, has entered the food chain. The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic
Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags. They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food.
If just 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. used cloth bags, we would eliminate 1,330,560,000,000 plastic bags over a life time.
The Garbage Patch
The North Pacific Tropical Gyre also known as the Garbage Patch – seven millions tons of floating plastic waste spanning an area twice the size of Texas. There is six times as much plastic in the gyre than there is plankton. Plankton is the area’s most abundant food source. Animals mistake this waste for food dying either from plastic poisoning or blockage of their digestive system. This plastic absorbs, transports, and releases hydrophobic pollutants (PCB,DDE,DDT) not only harming the oceans food chain, but us as well. Diseases, infertility, etc. Plastic is 100% nonbiodegradable. Reduce your plastic waste. Learn more at www.algalita.org.
The only positive way I can look at this catastrophe is that nature seems to be gathering our toxic slosh into a big pile for us, while today we may be technologically incapable, one day we will have the means. Cleanup is inevitable.Tags: Environmental Issues, landfills, oil, PCB, plastic bags, Pollution, Recycling