In just 25 years, our consumption rate of plastic bags has grown from almost zero to our use of over 500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billion) plastic bags annually … almost 1 million per minute.

  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags  annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.
  • Four out of five grocery bags in the US are now plastic.
  • Plastic bags cause hundreds of thousands of birds, sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year because these creatures  mistake plastic trash for food.
  • Countries like China, Ireland, Australia, Bangladesh have banned or have placed restrictions on  single use plastic bags.
  • Taiwan banned plastic bag and plastic utensils as a way to reduce  60,000 metric tons of waste per year they deal with each year
  • According to the BBC, only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled.  Our record in the US  isn’t any better.
  • Target, the second-largest retailer in the U.S.  purchases 1.8 billion bags a year. They just announced  a new program to give consumers a nickel back for each reusable bag they bring into their stores when they shop.
  • Target (Australia) completely banned single use plastic bags in their stores in 2008.
  • The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.
  • Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.
  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.  Each of us creates 1,500 lbs of trash every year that has to be disposed of that could be recycled with a little effort.

Now you know … time to pitch in and do your part!

Remember every piece of plastic ever produced and not recycled still exists!

16 thoughts on “PLASTIC FACTS
  1. Pingback: 20 Mind Boggling Facts About Plastic | Alter Minds

  2. Pingback: Plastic Fast - Good Dirt Radio

  3. Well………. I live in AUS and target has NOT banned plastic bags, I know like most ppl they may not like plastic bag ( In fact they give you a plastic bag with the target logo on it! Just did some research into some of these fact….. Not all of them r true.

    • Thank you so much for commenting. When the piece on Target Australia was written we relied on information from multiple outside sources. That being said, working in Georgia it is hard for us to verify what Target AU is really doing. I can tell you I was very upset to read Target AU had banned plastic bags while Target USA had not.

      From what you have told us, it looks like a media job of green washing. If you’d like to follow up with a story on Target AU, please so.

  4. Plastic in the ocean has over 1 million times more chemicals in it that the water surrounding it. Plus we could be eating the fish that have those chemicals.

  5. Pingback: The Culture of Waste: Why It’s Bad, and How To Prevent Waste

  6. Inspite of so many people who have knowledge about the harm whic Plastic is dooin to our mother earth and effecting so many creatures and marine life, people how can they use plastic……… STOP STOP STOP PLASTIC……..SAVE EARTH

  7. Hi everyone, I feel so strongly about this and other environmental issues I have set up a website which is designed as a community think tank for which will aim towards getting like minded people to share thoughts, knowledge and visions to overcome these issues, you are welcome to join and pass on to others, Truity Online is a forum of expression for those who want to make a difference.

  8. Bottled water products produce up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year. We are encouraging everyone to eliminate that waste by Bringing Your Own Bottle with you to help keep our environment clean and safe. So far, Primo Water Corporation has helped prevent 302,958,580 plastic bottles from entering landfills! To join the movement and learn more about the harmful effects of plastic bottles on the environment, become a fan of B.Y.O.B. on Facebook!

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  9. Another thing to consider is the amount of energy that goes into the production of plastic water cooler jugs for office water coolers. Every year in the US 1.5 million barrels of oil are consumed in the production of bottles alone and most end up sitting in landfills. Companies could easily lower their carbon footprint by switching to a bottleless water cooler from a company like Quench.

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