WHEN WE GET RID OF PLASTIC BAGS WE ALL WIN
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  FACTS & FIGURES

Did You Know...?
  • The average plastic bag is used for only 5 minutes, yet can take up to 1,000 years to break down in the environment.
  • Australians use over 10 million plastic bags a day.
  • Almost half of these bags are given away by non-supermarket retailers such as newsagents, discount stores, pharmacies, fruit and vegetable shops, liquor stores and take-away outlets.
  • Plastic bags suffocate, disable and kill thousands of marine mammals and sea birds worldwide each year. When the animal dies and decays, the plastic bag is free again to repeat the deadly cycle.
  • It only takes 4 grocery trips for an average Australian family to accumulate 60 plastic shopping bags.
  • Australians throw away about 7,150 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped in landfill every hour.
  • Plastic bags are considered to be a 'free' commodity, but the cost to households of $10 to $15 per year is added to the price of goods that they purchase.
  • The production of plastic bags accounts for some 20,000 tonnes of plastic polymer derived from non-renewable resources. While plastic bags can be recycled, only a tiny proportion of plastic bags are collected and reprocessed.
  • Plastic has remained the most common category of rubbish picked up on Clean Up Australia day over the last 20 years. Most common plastic consumer items include chips / confectionery bags, bottle caps and drink containers.

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