According to the Clean Air Council, Americans, consume 20,000 plastic grocery-store bags every five seconds; which totals roughly one-hundred billion bags being used annually. This usage contributes to more than half-million tons of plastics being discarded into our nation’s landfills annually. Since plastic grocery store bags decompose by exposure to radiation from the sun’s ultra violet light and are not biodegradable, plastic bags are estimated to remain in our landfills for up to 1000 years, as stated by many plastic experts and scientists. If the experts are correct the sheer volume of plastic bags, over this time span, would overwhelm our current system of waste disposal. However, not all discarded plastic bags reach landfills; many
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Meaning the average family would use five reusable bags each week opposed to twenty disposable bags. if you stretch the cost out over the useful life of the reusable bags the average cost of each use would equal six cents. Are four cents more for each use,a price too steep to prevent 1920 plastic bags from filling our landfills, oceans, and country for the next thousand years?
Another argument frequently voiced by the proponents for continued use of disposable plastic bags, is to recycle the discarded bags; which they state will reduce the number of bags in landfills and water ways, while also preserving natural recourses (natural gas).On the surface recycling all of the bags sounds like a wonderful, noble idea, unfortunately, we as a society are a very long way from even beginning to achieve that goal. Currently only one percent of the disposable bags used in America, today, are actually recycled. Complicating the matter further, many municipalities across the states don’t allow their citizens to place disposable grocery bags in their recycling bins prior to collection. This decree is not a swing at the plastic bag industry, but simply town management’s disapproval of bags blowing in the wind littering their streets due to uncovered or tumbled bins. Furthermore, the technology used to recycle plastics is under developed and generally