About Plastic Bag Waste
National Geographic estimates that shoppers in the US use one thin, single-use plastic bag per person per day. That translates to around 45 million each year in Cache County alone. And, the majority of these bags are used for their intended purpose for 12 minutes before they are discarded. Most of the plastic bags are made overseas and imported to the US and use a significant amount of oil and energy for production and transportation.
You can read all about the environmental problems with plastic bag use globally here. It's almost certain you've heard of danger plastic bags pose to wildlife, especially near oceans. While we don't have quite the same ocean problem here in Cache County, thin, single use plastic bags are a HUGE problem for waste management and at the recycling facility. Plastic bags are the #1 source of litter coming from our refuse trucks and also blowing at the transfer station and the North Valley Landfill. They are also our #1 contaminant in the recycling containers.
We challenge all Cache County residents to have a #bagplan.
A #bagplan is committing to using plastic bags responsibly. We think this includes having both a plan to reduce the number of plastic bags you get in your home and a plan to dispose of ones you get responsibly.
If you get a plastic bag:
- Reuse it! Fill it with garbage and put it in your garbage can! Remember, plastic bags should NEVER go in your recycling container, even if filled with recyclables.
- If you can't fill the bag, tie it to something or put it in another bag.
- Invest in reusable bags. Make sure you have plenty for your shopping trip and utilize some of the tips below to remember those bags!
- Put bags in multiple places (your car, purse, etc) so you always have one handy!
- Write "DON'T FORGET YOUR BAGS" at the top of the grocery list!
- Put a sticky note on your dashboard that reminds you to bring your bags into the store
- If you forget bags, don't get plastic, just put everything lose into your cart! You might remember the next time!
- Store them in the front seat of your car! That way you won't forget to carry them into the store with you.