Plastic bag vs Paper bag

Isnin, 23 Ogos 2010
MILLIONS of plastic bags are now sitting in landfills and garbage cans around the world. Not only does it take years to decompose, but plastic bags that do not make it to the landfill get caught in drains, in the ocean, or affect wildlife.

Growing concern over the waste of plastic and paper bags has many people puzzled over what is the right thing to choose. Here are the facts:

The US uses about 100 billion plastic bags per year according to the EPA, and less than 2% are recycled. Virgin resin used to make the bags costs less than recycled resin, so it’s not very cost efficient to recycle bags.

Most municipalities do not accept the bags in their recycle programs because they can stick up the machines. The average family uses about 1000 plastic bags each year.

Most are used just one time, but about 7% do get reused to line waste cans, pickup dog waste, ect.

Plastic bags do not decompose. The sun photo degrades the bags, meaning that over time, the sun breaks down the plastic into smaller pieces. This actually is not good as the small particles can enter the food chain particularly when the bags litter in the sea and are accidentally mistaken for food by wild life.

In the water, the bags look like jellyfish and are eaten causing choking and sometimes entanglement. Plastic bags kill millions of animals each year. When an animal eats the plastic, it cannot digest it, so the toxins in the plastic remain, which humans can then ingest when they eat the animal.

There is a spot 1000 miles off the coast of San Francisco called the Garbage Patch. It is about twice the size of Texas and can go as deep as 300 feet. It is almost all plastic, and is caught in what is called a gyre. In fact, water samples taken showed six parts plastic to one part plankton of food for the sea life.

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