10 Reasons to use reusable bags
1. It takes between 15 and 1,000 years for the average plastic bag to decompose, depending upon the type of environment. A typical landfill environment causes the plastic bags to just sit for decades or centuries with minimal break down.
2. Up to 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles and many other sea animals die annually from taking in plastic bags. Animals can confuse floating bags with sea life to eat, such as plankton and jellyfish. Once they eat it, the plastic clogs up their digestive tract. The animals typically starve to death. Other animals may drown after they are entangled in plastic bags.
3. The cost of recycling plastic bags is relatively high and many recyclers will not accept them. Plastic bags are commonly discarded into landfills.
4. The EPA estimates only 2% of all plastic bags are recycled. The rest are stuck in landfills or floating around the oceans, often leaching toxins into the soil and water.
5. If you think paper bags are a better option, you should reconsider. The United States chops down 14 million trees per year to make the pulp to produce paper bags.
6. Paper bags produce double the atmospheric waste as plastic bags, so they are not really a better option for the environment.
7. Thrown away plastic bags have shown up as far away as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Survey reports.
8. Plastic bags do not always remain in landfills due to their light weight. They often flutter away and are stuck in trees and littering our coasts.
9. Petroleum products are used to make plastic bags, which are nonrenewable resources.
10. Plastic bags comprise 10% of the washed up garbage that pollutes American coastlines.