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Plastic Bag Environmental Impact Facts

  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade - breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.
  • A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment.
  • Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
  • Nearly 90% of the debris in our oceans is plastic.

Sources: International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies or persons as cited.

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