Plastic bags and wraps are typically made from type-2 high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and type-4 low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic. A general rule of thumb when recycling plastic bags is to make sure the plastic bags are empty and clean. Do not include used plastic food wrap, bags with food residue, or material that has been painted or glued. Doing so will contaminate the recycled material making the entire load unusable. Unusable plastics are usually thrown away and land filled.
While researching to write an article on Recycling Plastic Bag Facts, I discovered numerous articles online about creative ways to reuse plastic bags. Even though there are some good ideas out there, most focus on reusing the plastic bag only once or several times.
For example, a website suggests wrapping a plastic bag â€œaround paintbrushes if you stop mid-project to prevent the paint from drying out.â€ You may think this is an excellent idea, however, what will happen to the plastic bag now that it is contaminated with paint? It is no longer suitable for recycling.
Some of the facts below will scare you. Read at your own risk.
How many plastic bags are consumed each year worldwide?
- The worldwide usage of plastic bags is estimated to be between 500 billion to 1 trillion every single year.
- Letâ€™s just say the world consumes 1 trillion plastic bags per year. If you divide this amount by 365 days, you get 2.7 billion plastic bags used per day worldwide.
- If you divide by 24 hours, you get 114 million plastic bags used per hour worldwide.
- If you divide by 60 minutes, youâ€™ll get 1.9 million plastic bags used per minute worldwide.
- Finally, lets divide by 60 seconds.
Every second the clock ticks, the world would have consumed nearly 32,000 plastic bags!
The Indian government banned the use of plastic bags in various markets, shopping malls, hotels and hospitals in January of 2009. Two years later, with the law being nearly impossible to enforce, the government plans to shut down 400 plastic bag manufacturers across New Delhi, India.
According to a top government official, the Indian government is determined to rid New Delhi of plastic bags once and for all.
“We are considering closing down the manufacturing units of plastic bags so that these bags are not produced at all,” the official said.