Petroleum-based grocery bags hit the checkout aisle in 1977. Presented as a revolutionary idea, they are now recognized as an environmental hazard. Just like bottled water, plastic bags are made from crude oil, contributing to global warming.
Up to 1000 - Estimated years for a plastic bag to decompose.
1460 - Plastic bags used in a year by an average family of four in the U.S.
12 million - Barrels of oil used to make the plastic bags that the U.S. consumes annually.
Less than 1% - Percentage of all plastic bags that get recycled in the U.S.
88.5 billion – Plastic bags consumed in the U.S. last year.
500 billion – Estimated plastic bags sold worldwide each year.
San Francisco has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery stores.
Ireland has a $.20 tax per bag.
France is banning plastic bags starting 2010 and starting 2008 in Paris.
South Africa has banned thin plastic bags
Uganda has banned thin plastic bags and has taxes on thicker ones.
Kenya is banning plastic bags starting 2008.
Zanzibar Islands have banned all plastic bags.
Mumbai, New Delhi, and two states in India have banned all plastic bags.
Bangladesh has banned all plastic bags.
Taiwan has banned all plastic bags as well as disposable plastic plates, cups, and cutlery.