Plastic Bags – The Environmental Choice
Multi-use plastic bags are 100% recyclable and made from American natural gas.
In addition to recycling, a recent national survey shows that over 90% of Americans reuse their plastic bags.
- About 65% of Americans reuse their bags for trash disposal. Other common uses include lunch bags and pet pick-up.
- In this regard, the reuse of a plastic shopping bag prevents a second bag from being purchased to fulfill these necessary functions. These replacement bags are often thicker, bigger and intended to go to the landfill, meaning the unintended consequence is that more plastic is going into the landfill.
Less material means less waste and fewer emissions.
- Plastic bags generate 80% less waste than paper bags.
- Plastic grocery and retail bags make up a tiny fraction (less than 0.5%) of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.
- Plastic bags generate only 50% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of composted paper bags.
- The production of plastic bags consumes less than 4% of the water needed to make paper bags.
Plastic grocery bags are fully recyclable and the number of recycling programs is increasing daily.
- Nationwide over 971 million pounds of bags and film were recycled in 2010—up 14 percent..
- According to EPA’s data, about 14.7 percent of plastic bags and wraps were recycled in 2010.
- Plastic bags can be made into dozens of useful new products, such as building and construction products, low-maintenance fencing and decking, and new bags.
- In recent years, many grocers and retailers have introduced plastic bag collection programs. Tip: Look for a collection bin, usually located at the front of the store or near checkout areas, and include your dry cleaning bags, and other plastic wraps that cover your papertowels and water bottles, to name a few. For a more complete listing of what wraps and sacks can be recycled along with your plastic bags, visit plasticbagrecycling.org.