Published on January 7th, 2013 | by Heather Carr0
Plastic Bags Suffocating the World
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.