Since the middle part of the last century, single-use plastics like bags, bottles and wrappers have become utterly ubiquitous. In fact, since the 1950s, more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been manufactured, and half of that has been created in just the past 15 years.
While they’re billed as convenient, these single-use plastics have a devastating effect on the environment of this planet, impacting both human and animal life and helping to worsen the toll of climate change.
Let’s review some of the most sobering statistics surrounding the use of plastic, including single-use plastics like grocery bags:
- Half of the 300 million tons of plastic produced throughout the world each year is for single-use items.
- 80% of all plastics that have ever been made have ended up in a landfill or in nature; only 9% of it has been recycled.
- Biologists have estimated that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh all fish.
- Greenhouse gas emissions connected to the production of plastic could reach 1.34 gigatons annually in just the next 10 years, and if plastic production continues unabated for even longer than that, emissions could reach 56 gigatons by 2050.
In addition to our primary focus of helping to reduce the number of single-use plastic grocery bags in the world, we actively support a range of environmental advocacy efforts through a variety of partnerships and initiatives, including:
- Organic Trade Association: A membership-based group for organic businesses in North America with sites in Washington, Vermont, California and Oregon. Its mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade.
- Heal the Bay: An environmental nonprofit based in Santa Monica, California, whose mission is to protect coastal waterways and watersheds in Southern California.
- Surfrider Foundation: An environmental nonprofit based in San Clemente, California, whose mission is to protect and preserve oceans, waves and beaches.
- 5 Gyres: A nonprofit research organization based in California that advocates for reduction in use of plastics and conducts investigations and cleanups of plastic pollution.
- Algalita Marine Research & Education Foundation: A California-based foundation that conducts cleanup efforts to reduce plastic in the ocean as well as publishing research and advocating for policy changes.
- Clear Blue Sea: A San Diego-based nonprofit that pioneered FRED, a solar-powered floating vessel that harvests marine debris.
- Earth Day Network: The global organizer of annual Earth Day events and year-round events aimed at raising awareness and inspiring environmental action. Main headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
- Friends of the Earth: A Washington-based advocacy group that campaigns on behalf of a range of environmental causes, including the Green New Deal, anti-drilling and anti-fracking efforts and banning toxic pesticides.
- Greenpeace International: One of the most visible and well-known global environmental action organizations in the world with headquarters in Amsterdam.
- Natural Resources Defense Council: Headquartered in New York City, the NRDC is an environmental activism organization whose mission is to fight pollution and protect the natural environment.
- One Green Planet: A news site dedicated to causes like animal rights, organic farming and sustainable living.
- Plastic Pollution Coalition: A nonprofit advocacy group that aims to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics.
- Plastic Soup Foundation: An Amsterdam-based advocacy group that educates people about plastic pollution in the planet’s oceans, the so-called plastic soup, a term that also refers to microplastics.
Supporting Future Leaders
It’s our deep belief that the leadership of young people will be vital to tackling the climate crisis, and we’re inspired by the efforts of students and emerging entrepreneurs who are taking innovative approaches to these vitally important issues.
Another way we help advocate for and support the next generation of environmental leadership is through a bi-annual scholarship program that provides a $1,000 college scholarship to two students each year. Learn more about the program and its requirements here.
For the Future
The fight for environmental action and advocacy is a ceaseless one, and we are energized by new organizations and fresh voices in this community. If you are involved with an organization or initiative that you believe would benefit from a partnership with ReuseThisBag, please contact us by clicking here.