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The lifecycle of a plastic shopping bag

14 Jan 2024

Every year about 4 trillion plastic shopping bags are created, you might wonder how are the shopping bags created. Before they were plastic bags, they were petroleum oil. Plastic bags from supermarkets would require 0.2% of the world’s oil annually to make or about 60 million barrels. They were created in plastic factories. The oil was heated up and turned into ethylene gas. Then was converted into a soupy polyethylene mash that was forced through tiny holes to form strings which were cut into beads. Those beads were heated, stretched, and cooled as a result in our everyday plastic bag.

On average we only use plastic bags for a total of twelve minutes and most of us use them once before tossing them out. The lifecycle of plastic bags is quite short, as only one percent of plastic shopping bags are actually recycled, most just end up in landfills. Before using a plastic bag for shopping next time, think twice! You could always reuse the plastic bags you have used and give them a longer life span.

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