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The Scope of the Plastic Shopping Bag Problem

Daz2 Wrote: Jun 22, 2012 1:30 PM
Wait a minute. Wasn't it back in the '80's that plastic bags were being made so that they degrade in a few months when hit with sunlight or moisture? What happened to that? Also, During a trip to a Caribbean island, I saw baskets made out of palm fronds. Why can't they make shopping bags out of them? They're strong, they naturally degrade and there are billions of palm trees all over the world.
BillCofIN Wrote: Jun 24, 2012 2:44 AM
One not so small problem needs to be addressed, There is an "island" in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that consists of mostly plastic shopping bags. How big is it? Wrap your mind around this: it is tens of miles long and almost the same in width. Hawaii is considerating banning them state-wide. Maui, Lanai and Molokai (the county of Maui) has a total ban in place already. And no, they are not dissolving in the water nor by UV from the sun. It is traceable by satellite and shipping is given location data constantly so that it can be avoided to avoid the severe problem of fouled ship propellers.

How big of a problem do plastic shopping bags pose to the environment?

Since the elected supervisors of Los Angeles' City Council recently voted to ban plastic shopping bags at the city's retailers, largely in response to "clean-water" advocates, who argue that the bags "pollute the ocean and the city's waterways", we thought we'd get a sense of just how big that problem really is.

Our chart below presents the answer, which refers to data that those who support bans on plastic shopping bags frequently cite in advancing their agenda: