Most of you probably already know that the majority of plastic bags are not recycled or reused. Every person in the United States uses an average of 330 plastic bags each year. That’s 100 billion plastic bags all together! Many cities and states are banning plastics bags in order to cut down this outrageous number of wasted bags since it can take up to 500 years for one of them to decay in a landfill. Each plastic bag is a partially made of petroleum and other harmful chemicals that leak into the ground where they veeeryyyyy slllloooowwwwllllyyyy decompose.
Ken Prue, San Diego’s recycling program manager, gave this solid list of why plastic bags are not recycled in addition to all the obvious reasons:
1) It is cost prohibitive to recycle plastic bags or other types of plastic film or plastic wrap in the curbside program.
2) The recycled bags have little value, and when collected get badly contaminated, decreasing their value further.
3) There are virtually no markets in the U.S. for curbside-recovered plastic bags, and international markets are not much better.
4) A bigger problem with collecting plastic bags curbside is that they get wound up in collection and processing equipment, requiring maintenance that costs money and time, and creates inefficiencies for processing all the recyclables.
But there is a cheap and easy alternative! It’s called a shopping bag. They are reusable, come in various sizes, and are apparently very chic in France : ) Most are sold at a variety of groceries stores or you can buy a bunch online for as little as $1! Have trouble remembering them when you hit the store (like I do)? Leave some in the trunk of your car or by the door so you can grab them on your way out. Reuse the plastic bags you can’t avoid or take them to your local Safeway, where they have a plastic bag drop off. Many of Chipper’s books and products come with our reusable totes, good for shopping, the beach, or when ever you need a bag! Be apart of the green action with Chipper and decline plastics bags whenever possible!
Think paper bags are better? Think again ans find out why here.