It takes one minute to use a plastic bag and throw it out, and then 1,000 years for it to break down in landfill. We’ve provided some information to get your thinking about how convenient plastic really is?
100 billion plastic bags are used every day, and only for a few minutes before they are thrown away.
- They will remain in landfill for as long as 1,000 years, slowly breaking down into tiny toxic pieces.
- Approximately 12 million barrels of oil are used in their creation, the equivalent of 18 Olympic sized swimming pools.
- It is estimated there are 74,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square km of our ocean.
- Each year approximately 100,000 marine species are killed from plastic pollution, with this number growing every year.
- 3.92 billion plastic bags are used every year, that’s over 10 million new bags used everyday.
- Over 1 million tonnes of plastic ends up in landfill every year.
- Between 50 and 80 million plastic bags end up littering our streams, parks and streets.
The Illusion of Convenience
Plastic is everywhere in our daily life, therefore it is easy to think that it is a convenient product to use and mindlessly throw away.
Let’s consider the journey of plastic…
Oil is extracted from the earth, shipped to a refinery, turned into plastic, shaped for use, transported to where it will be used, packaged, shipped to a store, bought, thrown away and then it starts a 1,000 year journey of breaking down.
Perhaps if we stop to think about the journey of plastic and the lasting environmental damage we might think twice about using it in the first place.
What You Can Do
Luckily, there are many simply ways you can actively reduce your use of plastic at home and do your part towards reducing our global consumption.
1. Take reusable carry bags. There are great bags on the market that can be folded and kept in your bag. Remember to take your bags for all shopping purposes (especially Christmas gift shopping)!
2. Carry a water bottle that can be refilled. Australia has some of the freshest drinking water in the world straight out of the tap. So why pay for it
3. If you need a carry bag, ask for a paper instead of plastic.
1. Return your plastic bags at your local shopping centre into the recycling bins. Never put your plastic bags in your kerb-side co-mingled recycling.
2. Ensure you put any PET bottles in a recycling bin.