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Date added: Apr 29, 2015 Biodegradable Plastic Bags - Eco Friendly or Not?

Date added: Apr 21, 2015 How Many Plastic Bags do we Use Each Year?

I was quite amazed to read the figures about how many plastic bags are used around the world each year. Actual numbers can only be estimates, but either way you look at it, we’re using a hell of a lot of plastic bags these days. One can only wonder about the damage this is doing to the natural environment.

Also, the figures vary depending on the source, but here are some figures I’ve seen from various sources.

A common estimate is that global consumption of plastic bags is over 500 billion plastic bags annually. Yes that’s 500,000,000,000 plastic bags used per year. In other words, that’s almost 1 million plastic bags used per minute.

As if that’s not enough, some environmental groups have estimated that up to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. Now, depending on your definition of the word “trillion”, that would be either 1,000,000,000,000 plastic bags or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 plastic bags each year!

For arguments sake, let’s say it’s somewhere between 5 billion and a trillion plastic bags per year.

That’s a lot of plastic bags.
 

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Date added: Apr 7, 2015 Biodegradation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In nature, different materials biodegrade at different rates, and a number of factors are important in the rate of degradation of organic compounds. To be able to work effectively, most microorganisms that assist the biodegradability need light, water and oxygen. Temperature is also an important factor in determining the rate of biodegradability. This is because microorganisms tend to reproduce faster in warmer conditions. The rate of degradation of many soluble organic compounds is limited by bioavailability when the compounds have a strong affinity for surfaces in the environment, and thus must be released to solution before organisms can degrade them.

Biodegradability can be measured in a number of ways. Scientists often use respirometry tests for aerobic microbes. First one places a solid waste sample in a container with microorganisms and soil, and then aerate the mixture. Over the course of several days, microorganisms digest the sample bit by bit and produce carbon dioxide – the resulting amount of CO2 serves as an indicator of degradation. Biodegradability can also be measured by anaerobic microbes and the amount of methane or alloy that they are able to produce. In formal scientific literature, the process is termed bio-remediation.

  
Approximated time for compounds to biodegrade in a marine environment



 

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Date added: Mar 28, 2015 Plastic Bag Pollution

Date added: Mar 5, 2015 Please use eco-friendly paper bag for me

Date added: Feb 26, 2015 Plastic Bag Problem: Recycling Plastic Bags

Date added: Feb 12, 2015 Plastic Bags - the Lunch for animals

A Google search on “animals eat plastic bags” brings up hundreds of heartbreaking stories and images from around the world. So many foraging cows in India have died from ingesting plastic bag litter that many of the states in that country have banned the distribution of plastic bags. In the United Arab Emirates, a veterinarian has documented images of camels, sheep, goats, and endangered desert animals dead from eating plastic bags. Whales wash up on our coasts, their bellies full of plastic. And endangered leatherback sea turtles mistake floating plastic bags for the jellyfish that are their main diet, ingesting the plastic that can then block their digestive tracts. In fact, a recent study of leatherback turtle autopsy records found plastic in one-third of the animals’ GI tracts, plastic bags being the most common item mentioned.

While a lot of figures have been thrown around in the media, hard numbers are difficult to calculate, and the sad fact is that when most sea animals eat plastic and die, they sink to the bottom, unaccounted for. But possibly more significant than the individual animals that are killed by eating plastic are those that are affected indirectly. For example, when sea turtles eat plastic instead of food, their glucose levels drop, leaving them with less energy for migration and reproduction. Females can’t lay as many eggs, and fewer new sea turtles are born. “When you connect the dots,”  “you realize that plastic pollution may cost millions of potential sea turtle lives.” 

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Date added: Feb 3, 2015 What’s Wrong With Plastic Bags?

Date added: Jan 16, 2015 The Problem of Plastic Bags

Date added: Jan 9, 2015 Do you insist on using plastic bags

Ever wonder why some people think its ok to let their dog poop anywhere and just move on without even attempting to dispose of it?

There are trails and parks covered with the stuff. Particularly when its cold, people let their pet poop and run. If you are a dog owner and I am getting to you about this stuff, listen, its never too late to “do the right thing”. Dog poop and water systems don’t mix. As the Spring thaw begins, it’s time to pick it up while its still frozen. But what to pick it up with. Don’t even think about using more plastic unless its biodegradable. Here are some statistics about those “recycled plastic bags”.

100 billion are dispensed to Americans
12 billion barrels of oil are used to produce them
1000 years to break down
 

Standard plastic bags don’t degrade, they photodegrade, which means they break down into even smaller pieces that enter the soil and water as well as the food chain, killing birds and marine animals by entagling them or clogging their intestines.

Let’s face it they have despoiled even the wild places on this planet. Use cloth bags when shopping and make sure that the bags you use to pick up your dog’s poop are truely green biodegradable bags such as ipoopicker - paper dog poop bag
 

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