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FACT ABOUT SHOPPING BAGS

PLASTIC BAGS
1: Approx. 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That's more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.
2: Approx. 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away in the United States every year.
3: Only 1 to 2% of plastic bags in the USA end up getting recycled.
4: Plastic bags are made of polyethylene.
5: Polyethylene is a petroleum product.
6: Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.
7: Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year.
8: An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.

9: Thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution.
10: The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.
11: Plastic bags are often mistakenly ingested by animals, clogging their intestines which results in death by starvation. Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can't fly as a result.
12: It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to breakdown.
13: Even when they photo-degrade in landfill, the plastic from single-use bags never goes away, and toxic particles can enter the food chain when they are ingested by unsuspecting animals.
14: Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90% of that debris is plastic.
15: Plastic bag choke landfills.
16: Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes.


PAPER BAGS

1: Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down every year for paper bag production.
2: Most of the pulp used for paper shopping bags is virgin pulp, as it is considered stronger.
3: Paper production requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water as well as toxic chemicals like sulphurous acid, which can lead to acid rain and water pollution.
4: The United States Environmental Protection Agency says paper bags are worse for the environment than plastic. Plastic bags require much less energy to manufacture, ship and recycle and because of this plastic generates less greenhouse gas. Plastic bags cause less air and water pollution. They compress to a small size in landfills.
5: According to the EPA, paper bags generate 70 percent more air pollution and 50 times more water pollution than plastic bags.
6: Tree regrowth cannot keep up with the current logging rate.
7: It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
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