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VERSION: | - |  SPANISH WITH KEY WORDS: |- << prec| succ>>|11 Ottobre 2008

Plastic bags

Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It cost more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. “There's harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32”.

Then…

Where Do They Go?

A study in 1975, showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill. Bags get blown around……to different parts of our lands…and to our seas, lakes and rivers.Bags find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes. Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen, and as far south as the Falkland Islands. Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline Plastic bags photodegrade: over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers which eventually contaminate soils and waterways. As a consequence microscopic particles can enter the food chain The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic Birds become terminally entangled Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food.

So…What do we do?

If we use a cloth bag, we can save 6 bags a week. That's 24 bags a month. That's 288 bags a year. That's 22,176 bags in an average life time. If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our life time.

Bangladesh has banned plastic bags, China has banned free plastic bags. Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002 and have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%. In 2005 Rwanda banned plastic bags. Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan,Singapore have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag. On March 27th 2007, San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic bags Oakland and Boston are considering a ban. Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil. Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency. China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags. It is possible..


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