Beginning as fossil fuels, plastic bags end up as hazardous waste in oceans and landfills. Shredded plastic bags are frequently mistaken for food by birds, resulting in toxic waste entering their stomachs. Jellyfish and floating plastic shopping bags are nearly impossible to distinguish for hungry sea turtles. Each year, fish consume thousands of tons of plastic, which moves up the food chain to larger fish and marine mammals. People also consume microplastics through food and the air. The fossil fuel industry plans to increase plastic production by 40% over the next decade. It is estimated that worldwide, people consume the equivalent of a credit card's worth of plastic every week1. By 2050.2, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. To convert fracked gas into plastic, these oil giants are rapidly constructing petrochemical plants across the United States. As a result, there will be more plastic in our oceans, more greenhouse gas emissions, and more toxic air pollution, all of which will contribute to the worsening of the climate crisis, which frequently has a disproportionate impact on communities of color.btititle here.
- Every year, Americans use 100 billion plastic bags, which are made with 12 million barrels of oil.
- Each person in the United States uses an average of 365 plastic bags each year. In Denmark, the average annual use of plastic bags is four.
- It just takes around 14 plastic sacks for what could be compared to the gas expected to travel one mile.
- The United States produced approximately 730,000 tons of PS, PP, HDPE, PVC, and LDPE plastic bags, sacks, and wraps in 2015. However, more than 87% of these items are never recycled and end up in landfills and the ocean.
- Plastics have been ingested by 34% of the dead leatherback sea turtles.
- Chemical additives like endocrine disruptors are found in the plastic that is typically used for food containers, bottles, and bags. These additives have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and suppressed immune systems in both humans and animals.
- A plastic bag takes 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. Sadly, the bags don't completely decompose; rather, they photodegrade, transforming into microplastics that absorb toxins and persist in polluting the environment.
- Prochlorococcus, a marine bacterium that provides one tenth of the world's oxygen, is one of the world's most important microorganisms, and chemical leachates from plastic bags hinder their growth.
- The 2018 International Coastal Cleanup resulted in the collection of 1.9 million grocery and other plastic bags.
- California was the first state to implement a ban on plastic bags in 2014. 12 As of July 2018, 127 nations had enacted some form of legislation to regulate plastic bags. As of March 2018, 311 local bag ordinances had been adopted in 24 states, including Hawaii.
- Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which would halt construction on new plastic-making plants, hold the industry accountable for its waste, and phase out disposable plastics. Ask your representatives in Congress to cosponsor this important bill that aims to tackle the problem of plastic pollution head-on.
- First and foremost, choose to reuse whenever possible and practice waste prevention. When you go shopping, always bring a bag that can be reused. You can reuse your bags repeatedly by washing them on a regular basis and thoroughly drying them.
- Formosa Plastics, one company, is attempting to construct a massively polluting petrochemical plant in Louisiana that would harm a Black community, degrade wetlands, and exacerbate the problem of plastic pollution. Sign the petition requesting that President Biden revoke the federal permit of Formosa Plastics, which is suspended and undergoing reevaluation by the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Through executive action, President Biden can swiftly address the plastic pollution crisis. For the sake of wildlife, our climate, and our health, demand that he take bold action on plastics.
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