The statistics and information gathered on the effects of plastic bags on our environment is quite astounding. Here are some facts that are sure to make you say no thank you at the checkout and carry your own reusable shopping bags. Green bags are fast becoming the most popular ECO-conscious promotional product. They are inexpensive, extremely useful, practical, and a tremendous advertising tool. They are the natural solution to our plastic bag problems. Check out these facts:
- Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year. This number will be significantly reduced with the increase in usage of reusable bags.
- As many as one trillion [1,000,000,000,000] plastic bags are used annually worldwide and only 1% of these are recycled.
- Some hundred million people live within 3 feet (1 meter) of mean sea level, and much of the world's population is concentrated in vulnerable coastal cities. In the U.S., Louisiana and Florida are especially at risk.
- Glaciers around the world could melt, causing sea levels to rise while creating water shortages in regions dependent on runoff for fresh water.
- Strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and other natural disasters may become commonplace in many parts of the world. The growth of deserts may also cause food shortages in many places.
- More than a million species face extinction from disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans. We need to do something to save these species and ecosystems from extinction.
- The ocean's circulation system, known as the ocean conveyor belt, could be permanently altered, causing a mini-ice age in Western Europe and other rapid changes.
- At some point in the future, warming could become uncontrollable by creating a so-called positive feedback effect. Rising temperatures could release additional greenhouse gases by unlocking methane in permafrost and undersea deposits, freeing carbon trapped in sea ice, and causing increased evaporation of water.
- Plastic bags are made from polyethylene, which is a thermoplastic made from crude oil. Chinese people use billions of plastic bags and their ban on free plastic bags will save them over 37 million barrels of oil annually!
- It takes 1,000 years for polyethylene bags to break down. This is not the case with reusable grocery bags.
- As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain.
- Plastic bags account for 10% of all coastline debris in the U.S. With reusable bags, there will be no litter or pollution because they will be used over and over again.
- Eight million pounds of plastic end up in our oceans killing our wildlife to the tune of approximately one billion seabirds and mammals. These animals suffer a painful death. The plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death.
- Plastic bags choke landfills.
- If one out of five people in North America convert from plastic bags to reusable bags, it will save our environment from the damage of 1.3 TRILLION plastic bags in our lifetime.
Though most of us don't realize it, manufacturing plastic bags contributes significantly to global warming. Greenhouse gases are the result of emissions caused by burning fossil fuels during the production of these bags. The greenhouse effect is caused when infrared radiations from the earth’s surface are prevented from escaping into the outer space. The consequence is global warming. The petroleum used to make 14 plastic bags is enough to drive a car a mile. The 380 billion plastic bags that Americans throw away each year are made from millions of barrels of petroleum, contributing to global warming, depleting oil supplies, and driving up costs of petroleum-based products like gasoline and energy for our homes. With the increase in use of green bags, we can start to solve this problem right away.
A carbon footprint is "the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product". In other terms, it is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in a negative way. We need to be responsible and environmentally conscious consumers and do whatever is necessary in hopes of reducing our carbon footprint. For many people, paying bills online is a no-brainer way to save time and resources. In addition to that, the use of reusable bags is a very important way one can reduce their carbon footprint. The use of reusable shopping bags as well as other eco friendly products is a large step forward in ensuring the safety of our planet and promoting the importance of being and environmentally conscious consumer. At Custom Green Promos, it is our goals as well as our responsibility to manufacture and supply products that allow you to be environmentally conscious consumers. By achieving these goals in which we have set out for ourselves, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint and allow you the ability to do the same. With these objectives in mind, we can move forward into the future knowing we are doing our part in preserving the environment and making this a better place for ourselves as well as our children.