A Belgian household uses, on average, 650 plastic throw-away bags every year !
The average time of use of a plastic throw-away bag is 20 minutes and that the same bag needs 400 years to decompose !
2 cl of oil are needed to make one single plastic throw-away bag. That means, on a year-basis for Belgium, a total amount of 60 million litres of oil !
- Worldwide, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used !
- Although plastic bags are recyclable, less than 3% of them actually are. The rest end up in landfills, oceans or as litter.
- An estimated 4 billion plastic bags end up as litter each year worldwide.
- 4 out of 10 people believe plastic bags will biodegrade, even though they won't.
- In our oceans, plastic debris was found in almost 75% of dead sea turtles in 2002.
You may think that paper bags are less harmful and more eco-friendly... it's a wrong understanding ! Not only are they less reused than plastic bags but they need 3 times more water during production and are also responsable for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Luckily, Belgian legislation has introduced the "pique-nique" law in July 2007, which amounts to 3 EUR/kg plastic throw-away bags which are non-biodegradable. This has resulted in a significant decrease of 40% plastic throw-away bags (source : reusablebagsdepot.com).