By bringing reusable bags to the store, you are helping the environment in many ways. You are helping to
preserve the natural resources of oil and trees which are used to produce plastic bags and paper bags.
You are helping to decrease fast growing pollution problems on city streets and waterways. You are also
taking a step in creating a safer and cleaner environment for marine life.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection
Agency), the United States in 1997 alone used 955,000
tons of paper bags. That means approximately 14.8
million trees had to be cut down.
According to the EPA, 11 barrels of oil are saved when one ton
of plastic bags are reused or recycled. One ton is equivalent to
approximately 132,000 plastic bags. And according to the ELC
(Environmental Literacy Council), it is estimated that somewhere
between 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are consumed
each year throughout the world. Can you imagine how many
barrels of oil can be saved?
According to the San Francisco Department of the Environment,
San Francisco shoppers consume about 50 million bags each
year. An environmental study also shows that the city spends
$8.5 million each year to dispose or remove bags from streets
and storm drains.
According to the EPA, ELC, The Ocean
Conservancy and many other agencies,
plastic bags pose a threat to marine life.
Sea turtles and whales have mistaken
plastic bags for natural prey like jellyfish
and squid. Ingesting plastic bags can
cause blockage to the digestive tract
which leads to starvation. In 2002, a
whale washed up the coast of Normandy
had 800 grams of plastic elements,
including plastic bags, in its stomach.
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