Plastic bags are being consumed at a rate of more than 500 billion bags per year worldwide, according to an AP article from September 29th, Consumers Worried about Plastic Bags' Impact on the Environment.
The frightening thing: only 1 to 3 percent of those bags are recycled. That means that last year's 495 billion unrecycled plastic bags are sitting in landfills or, even worse, are littered about the Earth or making their way into our oceans. And wherever the bags land, they will rest there for hundreds of years before they break up into "toxic bits that mix with the soil and water."
One might ask, why use plastic bags then? According to the article, "manufacturers and retailers advocate plastic bags for their convenience, strength and protection to goods from outside contamination."
Seems they forgot that the bags are the things contaminating the outside.