Kelly Zito, San Francisco Chronicle, September 15, 2009
In their fourth annual report on the most garbage-strewn sites in the region, Save the Bay says plastic bags remain a severe threat, clogging wetlands, strangling wildlife and harming water quality. The 50-year-old environment advocacy group zeroed in on 10 hot spots where a total of almost 15,000 plastic bags were retrieved from the Bay Area during 2008's Coastal Cleanup Day.
- 1.37 million plastic bags were picked up by volunteers during the Ocean Conservancy's 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Day, second only in number to cigarette butts.
- Californians use approximately 19 billion plastic bags and 5 billion paper bags annually.
- Bay Area residents use 3.8 billion plastic bags every year. Each year about 1 million end up in the bay.
- 12 million barrels of oil are used to produce 30 billion plastic bags in the US every year.
- The average use time for plastic bags is about 12 minutes.
- In San Francisco, as many as 30 percent of people in grocery stores are bringing in their own bags says Mark Westlund, spokesman for San Francisco's Department of the Environment.
And please consider donating a few hours of your time for 2009's Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, September 19. Volunteers are still needed!