When I pull out my reusable bag, I don't really think I'm making much of a contribution to the health of the planet. It just feels right, making my small gesture.
It's no surprise those ubiquitous plastic bags are a nightmare for the environment, not to mention a huge drain on the global economy. The infographic LearnStuff includes some staggering statistics, such as the $1 million San Jose spends every year just cleaning plastic bags out of recycling equipment.
What makes this infographic a good-news story are the examples of what happens when plastic bags are banned. When Ireland, for example, taxed the bags in 2002, usage dropped by more than 90% almost overnight.
That's a lot of plastic that isn't going to end up in the ocean or the Great Lakes, clogging turtle windpipes, stuffing bird intestines, and snuffing out marine life.
It is a small thing for me, avoiding plastic bags, but it is a big thing for the earth.