Plastic Bags and Climate Change? Who Knew?

Plastic Bag RecycleSea birds choking on plastic. Sea bass sex hormones messed up by dioxin from plastic. Ocean ecosystems overwhelmed by plastic bags. Highway medians and shoulders and city sidewalks littered with plastic bags. But who knew that that plastic bags contributed to climate change?

About six percent of the world’s oil is used for producing plastic. Producing and incinerating plastic takes about 6 pounds of CO2.  Recycling of plastic saves on average about 2.5 lb of CO2 per lb of plastic. Thus recycled plastic produces about 3.5 lb CO2 compared to 6 lb of CO2 for new plastic.

New Yorkers can recycle plastic at their grocery stores and certain other retailers. Not just plastic grocery bags but also the plastic bread bags, cereal bags, frozen food bags, and produce bags with ALL food residue removed, as well as plastic stretch/shrink wrap with food residue removed.  Also recyclable, those plastic bags that dry-cleaning and newspapers come in and the plastic wrap that comes on rolls of toilet paper and such. For a full list you can print out and stick up on your refrigerator see the NYDEC website.  And you can just remember to re-use your own bags.

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