A plastic shopping bag can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. Plastic bags are made from petroleum products and degrade mostly through light exposure which dissolves them into toxic polymer particles.

The United States alone uses approximately 100 billion new plastic bags per year. These bags are the debris most likely to fly away from landfills ending up in trees, beaches and the ocean. We’ve all seen this blight. One million birds and 100,000 turtles and other sea animals die of starvation each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags which block their digestive tracts.

Reusable cloth shopping bags can solve much of the plastic bag problem. The average reusable bag has the lifespan of over 700 disposable plastic bags. Over a lifetime, use of reusable cloth bags by just one person will save over 22,000 plastic bags. Do the right thing and avoid plastic bags whenever possible.