Grantham Week 7 Environmental Issues: Plastic Bags Crisis Assignment

Question Description

In a 1-2 page paper, using APA-style formatting, discuss three things you learned from the slide presentation on plastic bags? If you were given the opportunity to address the public-at-large, what would be your recommendation regarding the use of plastic bags? In your closing remarks, include a short catchy phase, slogan, poem, or any other creative statement to emphasize your point of view.

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Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. National Geographic News September 2, 2003 Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It cost more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one. - Christian Science Monitor News Paper “There's harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32” - Jared Blumenfeld (Director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment) Then… Where Do They Go? A study in 1975, showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill - U.S. National Academy of Sciences Bags get blown around… …to different parts of our lands …and to our seas, lakes and rivers. Bags find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes - November 16, 2007 Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen, and as far south as the Falkland Islands - British Antarctic Survey Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline - National Marine Debris Monitoring Program Plastic bags photodegrade: Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers - November 16, 2007 which eventually contaminate soils and waterways - November 16, 2007 As a consequence microscopic particles can enter the food chain - November 16, 2007 The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic - World Wildlife Fund Report 2005 Birds become terminally entangled - World Wildlife Fund Report 2005 Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags - World Wildlife Fund Report 2005 They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food - World Wildlife Fund Report 2005 So… What do we do? If we use a cloth bag, we can save 6 bags a week That's 24 bags a month That's 288 bags a year That's 22,176 bags in an average life time If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our life time Bangladesh has banned plastic bags - March 8, 2007 China has banned free plastic bags - January 9, 2008 Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002 and have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90% - BBC News August 20, 2002 In 2005 Rwanda banned plastic bags - Associated Press Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag - February 16, 2008 On March 27th 2007, San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic bags - (National Public Radio) Oakland and Boston are considering a ban - The Boston Globe May 20, 2007 Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil - November 16, 2007 Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags - January 9, 2008 It is possible... ...
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Final Answer


Running head: PLASTIC BAGS


Plastic Bags
Student’s Name
Institution Affiliation


Plastic Bags

From the presentation, I learned that plastic bags photo-degrade into toxic petro-polymers
which end up in food chains causing deaths of animals, birds and marine life. Organisms mistake
the microscopic materials for food and consume it, which destroy their systems. More so, around
200 species of sea creatures die as a result of...

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