New Yorkers use 5 000 000 000 plastic bags a year. From March 2015 to October 2015 I took pictures of them. Just 10 minutes of my time every day would get me to 1500 shots on instagram & posted as well on the bagitnyc.org map .
PlasticBags particularly litter the city as they easily fly from trash bins . They usually get stuck in trees, go down in sewers and end up in oceans where sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish .
PlasticBags do not biodegrade . They break down in tiny particles that stay in our environment . They're made from plastic #2 for the ligher ones or #4 for the thickest ones and could apparently leach nonylphenol (source : @lifewithoutplastic ) .
Only around 5 % of plasticbags are "recycled" . It is hard for facilities to get clean material plus it is cheaper to product them from virgin oil , the recycling rate usually drops with the barrels' prices. (source : @npr ) . And it is not a closed loop : the downcycled material resulting from the transformation (like the black bags usually found at delis ) cannot be recycled again. (source : the Sim Facility )
I've vowed 4 years ago to never use a plasticbag again . I always carry a reusable bag like I carry my keys or wallet , it is just lighter than those. And I bring severals when I go to the grocery store or travel.
By Dorothee Pierrard