Friday, August 04, 2006


3 plastic bags

We went to Wymondham Waitrose today on our way back from Old Buckenham and because I hadn't brought my normal collection of shopping bags, I got three flimsy plastic carrier bags. I thought it would be good to blog what happens to them here. In the meantime here are some related plastic bag facts:

Shoppers in Britain are estimated to use up to 20 billion plastic carrier bags a year.
Only one in every 200 is recycled
Each takes about 100 years to degrade.
Carrier bags make up 0.3% of household waste sent to landfill
35% of UK plastics consumption is represented by packaging
Plastics consumption is growing about 4% every year in western Europe.
One tonne of plastics is equivalent to 120,000 carrier bags.
A report on the production of carrier bags made from recycled rather than virgin polythene concluded that the use of recycled plastic resulted in the following environmental benefits:
* reduction of energy consumption by two-thirds
* production of only a third of the sulphur dioxide and half of the nitrous oxide
* reduction of water usage by nearly 90%
* reduction of carbon dioxide generation by two-and-a-half times
A different study concluded that 1.8 tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of recycled polythene produced.
290 bags for every person in the UK are given away every year by supermarkets

Sources of information:
plastics recycling

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