Plastic Bags


Plastic bags are popular because they are cheap, strong, lightweight, and convenient. However, not only do they end up in landfills after use, but also affect the ecosystem.


  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, a pretroluem product that contributes to air and energy pollution.
  • 4-5 Trillion Plastic Bags are made a year, 4-5% of which are recycled.
  • Approximately 380 Billion Plastic Bags are used in the US annually; Average 1,200 per resident.
  • California uses 19 billion plastic bags; $25 million goes towards putting them in a landfill.
  • Approximately 12 million barrels of oil are used to make US plastic bags.
  • UN estimates 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every ocean square mile.
  • 1 Billion seabirds and mammals die from plastic bags a year.
  • When animals eat plastic bags, they clog their intestines and die of starvation.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade.
  • 25% of plastic bags are made in Asia; fossil fuels are used to transport them.


  • Ireland began taxing plastic use in 2002; which decreased use by 95%,
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  • Recycled plastic can be used to make things like benches and parks.
  • Best alternative solution: Use a biodegradable and re-usable plastic tote bag!