There’s no denying that plastic bags are bad for the environment. It’s well researched and well documented – and yet 160,000 plastic bags are still used every second around the world. This needs to change, so we’ve put together some facts that will change the way you (and your friends) use plastic bags (and hopefully stop you using them all together).

Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world.

Ok, I know we covered this in the introduction, but think about just how big that number is. That’s every single second. All together, it adds up to a trillion plastic bags being used every year.

The amount of petroleum it takes to produce one plastic bag could drive a car 11 metres (36 ft).

It might not seem far, but it sure adds up quickly. The amount of petroleum it takes to produce ten plastic bags could drive a car the length of a football field – see what I mean, it adds up quickly. Factor in the point above and we’re talking about some pretty huge distances.

A plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes.

Twelve minutes. There’s not much else to say about this point. After its 12 minutes of use, it’s generally discarded. In fact, less than 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide. Once discarded, plastic bags will remain in the environment for 1,000 years before they decompose!

267 different species of animals have been affected by marine debris.

We know this isn’t specifically about plastic bags, but 90% of marine debris is one kind of plastic or another. If you haven’t watched the video below by National Geographic about what it feels like to be trapped in a plastic bag, take a look now.

Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most found in coastal clean-ups.

According to the non-profit, Center for Marine Conservation, plastic bags are so commonly found during coastal clean-ups that they are among the 12 most found items of debris. All the more reason to reduce our use of them.

If we joined all the plastic bags in the world together, they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.

That’s right, not once or twice but 4,200 times!

If just one person used recycled plastic bags over their lifetime, they would be removing 22,000 plastic bags from the environment.

That one person could be you. And if you share this information with your friends, we could see a huge reduction in the amount of plastic bags discarded in the environment.

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