August 17, 2008

Again, plastic bags

I know, I've already talked about recycling plastic bags, not accepting them at stores, and using re-usable shopping bags - this article is to discuss WHY we need to stop using them and keep them out of our landfills and environment. The EPA says that we use between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags worldwide each year. Only one percent of these are recycled.

These bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil. Reducing the manufacturing of plastic bags will decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Plastic bags photo-degrade. Over time, they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers. These toxins contaminate our soils and waterways and enter the food chain.

Nearly 200 species of sea-life die from plastic bags - either by being entangled in them along our coastlines or eating them.

San francisco was the first U.S. city to ban them on March 27th 2007. If you can help your town or state follow in their footsteps, please do as soon as possible. Many other countries are banning them, why don't we?

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