Bring Your Own Bag York
To reduce environmental hazards from single-use plastic bags, BYOB York will work to achieve a town-wide commitment to: shift from single-use bags to reusable ones and break the bag habit.
Breaking the bag habit
You Can Make a Difference...
Keep your reusable shopping bags in your vehicle
Write a reminder at the top of your grocery list, "Bring bags"
Hang your reusable shopping bags with your keys
Write a note to stick on your dashboard, "Stop! do you have your bags?"
The number of single-use plastic bags used each year by Maine residents.
The percentage of single-use plastic bags that are recycled in Maine. Leaving millions of bags to end up in landfills, incinerators and as litter in Maine's waterways and along roadways.
The number of single-use plastic bags used world wide per month.
The average number of minutes single-use plastic bags are used for in the U.S.
The number of single-use bags the average American could avoid using each year by switching to reusable bags.
Plastic Bags: Environmentally Harmful and Completely Unnecessary
According to the EPA, between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Americans alone throw away over 100 billion bags a year.
Every hour, approximately 200,000 plastic bags are landfilled and may take 1,000 years to break down. For the plastic bags that become litter, rain washes them into bodies of water where they threaten the lives of avian and marine species that can die from consuming or choking on the bags. Plastic pollution travels through our local waterways, eventually reaching the global oceans. On average, 46,000 pieces of plastic are swirling in each square mile of our oceans.
The mass consumption of plastic products has created a plastic wasteland in our Ocean. Great ocean currents combined with large amount of non-biodegradable waste have resulted in two swirling vortexes—twice the size of Texas—full of plastic trash. These vortexes did not exist 50 years ago.
The proliferation of plastic waste endangers fish and wildlife. A 2005 study found that almost 200 species of marine life are adversely affected by plastic bag pollution. Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles are killed annually from plastic bags. Fish and wildlife mortalities are caused by: Strangulation, Restricting mobility, and Disrupting digestion.
Marine animals often mistake plastic bags for food, such as jellyfish. Once eaten, the bags cannot be processed and block the digestive system, making it very difficult for animals to get proper nutrition, and can lead to a slow and painful death from starvation or dehydration. To make matters worse, when the creature dies and decomposes, the plastic bags will be re-released into the environment. (http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/plastic-bags.asp)
Learn the facts about plastic bag pollution. Watch this video "How harmful are plastic bags to the climate?" on YouTube by Global Ideas: