Single-use Plastic Bag Fact Sheet

  1. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year which require 12 million barrels of oil to produce
  2. Plastic is made using petroleum, a fossil fuel that is already a major focus of pollution in the world 
  3. Throughout its lifetime, every high quality reusable bag used can eliminate the use of roughly 1,000 plastic bags 
  4. In landfills, single-use bags will take up to 1,000 years to degrade
  5. Every year plastic bags cause more than 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths when animals mistake them for food 
  6. Over 44% of all seabirds have ingested or become entangled in plastic 
  7. According to Waste Management, only 1% of plastic bags produced are actually recycled and only 15% of plastic bags are combusted for energy
  8. An average American throws away 10 single-use plastic bags per week 
  9. The United Nations Environment Program estimates that 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in oceans every year
  10. Over 150 U.S. cities and counties ban or require fees for plastic bags
  11. A plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes, after which it is usually discarded
  12. In the U.S., 75.5% of plastic is sent to landfills 
  13. Estimated 8 billion pounds of plastic enters the waste stream every year.
  14. 2 Towns in Connecticut, Greenwich and Westport, have already banned the use of plastic bags