Disposable shopping bags are everywhere. From department stores to gas stations, they are the way we carry our purchases. According to Earth Policy Institute, worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic shopping bags could drive a car for a mile.

Check out these facts about plastic bags and paper bags that are good reasons for you to pick up a reusable bag and make the next bag you throw out your last.

  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, but they can break down through photo degradation. When photo degradation, decomposition through exposure to light, happens, the bag breaks down into small, toxic particles.
  • The cost to recycle plastic bags outweighs their value, so most recycling facilities will not take them. Instead of being recycled, they are thrown out with the rest of the trash.
  • Plastic bags make up more than 10% of washed-up debris that pollutes the U.S. coastline.
  • The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags.


There are thousands of other facts about plastic bags and how they impact our planet. Besides the damage they do to the environment, some people still haven’t given up their plastic bags, facts or no facts. Be a part of helping our planet!