If you think you have thrown a plastic bag away properly, think again! There is no “away” and many of those bags end up as inadvertent litter.
Plastic bags are so light, they have a tendency to blow out of trash cans. They can even blow out of the trash truck on the way to landfill, and even out of landfill itself! From our roadsides, they break up and wash into waterways which make their way to the ocean.
I see at least one plastic bag every day as I go about my daily routine in Los Angeles. I see them caught in the bushes and trees beside our roadways, in the air above our streets, in our oceans and on our beaches. Estimates suggest that these bags will remain intact for hundreds if not thousands of years. In the meantime, they blight our cities and destroy land based wildlife habitat.
Here is a story of what these bags can do. This story comes from a customer of mine in Alaska:
My husband is a veterinarian. One of the saddest things he ever did was treat a friend’s baby reindeer. She was about 3 months old. Just kept getting sick, getting worse, and would not eat. She finally died, and when my husband checked to see what she had died from, she had ingested a grocery bag that had flown into her corral. We have two reindeer ourselves and we are very careful about trash around here. The owners of the reindeer fawn have discussed with us what to do about the bag problem. Thank you for being the beginning of an answer! In fact, I’ll give them a few of the bags. –Ann