The U.S. alone uses over 100 billion plastic bags and produces 31 million tons of plastic waste per year. Plastic bags are a huge problem to dispose of because each one takes up to a thousand years to degrade. Where are these billions of bags going in the meantime? Each square mile of the ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic, much of it drifting to the ocean floor where it will never degrade, or entangling sea animals who mistake it for food and often die trying to eat or escape from the debris.
- Buy small reusable bags (Bag It, Chico Bag or Reuse It have good options).
- Get crafty and try making your own bags out of old t-shirts, old cloth napkins or netting.
- Let your broccoli and kale and lemons and apples all hang out together in your reusable bag and in the crisper drawer. Your veggies and fruit won’t mind — you’ll wash them before eating anyway.
By doing so, you’ll take a small action that has the big cumulative effect of reducing waste and protecting the environment.