The disposable plastic shopping bag was introduced in 1977, quickly replacing paper and cloth bags. They were first used in department stores, then by supermarket chains from the early 1980s. Environmental groups estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion of the bags are now used worldwide every year. (seattlepi.com)

Here’s some food for thought from Planet Ark:

  • plastic bags add an estimated $100 million a year to Australian’s grocery bills
  • according to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians use 6.9 billion plastic bags each year
  • over 200,000 plastic check-out bags are dumped in landfills every hour
  • only 5% of Australia’s plastic bags are recycled
  • at least 80 million plastic bags end up as litter on our beaches, streets and parks 
  • plastic bags can take between 15 and 1000 years to break down in the environment

 
In the marine environment, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles are killed every year from plastic bag litter as they often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish.

Using a reusable fruit & vegie bag would save our beautiful country at least to 2.4 billion bags every year - based on each household using 5 non-reusable bags per week.

Staggering really.

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