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Plastic bags are deadly to the wildlife that
mistake them for food or become entangled. Turtles, whales, seals, birds,
and fish suffer a painful death; the plastic wraps around their intestines
or they choke to death. Some of these animals are already threatened due
to issues such as over fishing or habitat loss and plastic bag litter only
further hurts their chances for survival.
Plastic bags are so aerodynamic that even when disposed
of properly, they can still blow away and become litter. They
easily escape from garbage trucks, landfills, boats, and average
consumer’s hands, and then carried by the wind into ponds, lakes and
rivers eventually making their way into our oceans.
Every time we use a plastic bag, we’re leaving behind a
small legacy of waste for future generations. As polyethylene breaks
down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain.
Only 5% of plastic bags are recycled. But even if
the recycling rate were doubled, tripled or quadrupled, the end result
would still be an unacceptable negative impact on wildlife.
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