Pondering the Stats
Eye-opening statistics from the Clean Air Council:
- Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.
- During 2009’s International Coastal Cleanup, the Ocean Conservancy found that plastic bags were the second-most common kind of waste found, at one out of 10 items picked up and tallied.
- Plastic bags do not biodegrade. Light breaks them down into smaller and smaller particles that contaminate the soil and water and are expensive and difficult to remove.
- The estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high.
- At least 90 percent of the price of a bottle of water is for things other than the water itself, like bottling, packaging, shipping, and marketing.
- In 2008, the average amount of waste generated by each person in the US per day was 4.5 pounds. 1.1 pounds of that was recycled, and 0.4 pounds, including yard waste, was composted. In total, 24.3 percent of waste was recycled, 8.9 percent was composted, and 66.8 percent was sent to a landfill or incinerated.
- The average American office worker uses about 500 (landfill-bound) disposable cups every year