2 Million bags per minute
Of all the plastic waste that is floating around in the oceans, plastic bags are one of the most widespread. Every year the staggering amount of one trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide. That is almost 2 million bags per minute. Policymakers at city, state and national levels are trying to limit plastic bag usage with bans and fees. For example, plastic bags are banned in France and Uruguay will tax single-use plastic bags in 2017.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable; they just break into small pieces and never completely decompose. But the problem of waste is not the only problem with plastic bags. Plastic bags are mostly made of polyethylene, an ingredient made out of petroleum. By some estimates almost 12 million barrels of petroleum oil are used to produce 100 billion plastic bags (14 plastic bags can make a car drive one mile).
It is pretty easy to reduce your usage of plastics by using reusable bags. At supermarkets you can usually buy reusable grocery bags, but if you are looking for other alternatives, check out these mesh beauties made by the French company Filt (in the Netherlands available at Knijter and in the USA at The Line). If you are looking for simple, check or Eco Bags. If you need a bag that is a little bit smaller, check the ones at Knapzak with pretty drawings. Ecozz also sells beautiful reusable bags made from recycled PET bottles.
Also, when buying fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, forego the plastic bags that they offer your, but instead bring your own produce bags. There are plenty of websites that offer them, for example Eco Bags , Onya or Etsy.