Pollution

Published on January 7th, 2013 | by Heather Carr

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Plastic Bags Suffocating the World

Plastic bags are suffocating the world.  It’s a pretty graphic description.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth to it.  Learnstuff.com put together this infographic illustrating the problem.

Plastic bags seem small – and they’re so thin – how could they be causing such a problem?  It’s not that any one of us is covering the ocean with plastic.  It’s that each of us is contributing to the 46000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of ocean and creating those gigantic ocean garbage patches.

The economic costs of the problem are also astonishing.  Cities spend $0.17 per bag to clean them up from the streets (caught in trees or fences, you’ve seen them) and dispose of them.  According to the infographic, when Washington, D.C. added a $0.05 per bag surcharge, plastic bag use dropped by 19.5 million.  That saved the city $3.3 million in clean-up costs.  It also kept nearly 20 million plastic bags per year from ending up in the ocean.

Suffocating-the-World

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About the Author

Heather Carr loves food, politics, and innovative ways to make the world a better place. She counts Jacques Pepin and Speed Racer among her inspirations. You can find her on Facebook or Google+.



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