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About 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year. In the US alone, about 30+ million tons of plastic waste is dumped into the solid waste system, including various plastic containers, bags and other types of packaging, with only about 10% being recycled. Plastic, which was once regarded as convenient and versatile, has actually become one of the biggest environmental problems of our time.
Over the last 50 years, we’ve increased the amount of plastic waste 12 fold. Typically plastics are made by using non-renewable resources, and most plastics are non-biodegadable, which means they will be around for centuries. The ingredients used to make plastics, such as petrochemical bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS), have been linked to a wide range of serious adverse health effects. “Plastic pollution is a major global phenomenon that has crept up on us over the decades, and it really requires a global and comprehensive solution that includes systemic rethinks about usage and production.” –
Doug Woodring, Plastic Disclosure Project (Source: New York Times) Plastic bags are another concerning issue. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are produced in the world each year. We use them for everything – from carrying groceries, to packing beauty products in our luggage, to storing foods in our refrigerator, and they have made our life much more convenient.
Yet, the price for this convenience is astounding. The infographic below, produced by Arte IDEAS, will give you an idea of the impact plastic bags have on the environment: