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The Savings When Going Green

Consider these "before" statistical facts that pertain to the city of Seattle:

  • The average person uses 485 plastic bags and 110 paper shopping bags each year
  • Number of disposable bags used: 360 million/year
  • Number of disposable bags collected: 120 million/year
  • Garbage equivalence of disposable bags: 4% of total residential garbage
  • Cost to collect and process disposable bags: $4,000,000/year
  • Amount spent to clean up plastic bag litter: $503,000/year
Now, consider these projected "after" facts, once Seattle implements its proposed 20-cent "green fee" for all disposable grocery bags:
  • Average "green fee" cost: $10/year/person
  • Expected bag usage reduction: 70 %
  • Greenhouse gas emission reductions: 4,000 tons/year
  • Rough equivalent to emission reductions: Taking 665 cars off of the road
And I should add, Seattle also is trying to outlaw all Styrofoam take-out containers.

Project Suggestion: Find the proportionate figures for your city and what it would mean to go "green"!

Source: Seattle Business Magazine, July 2008, p. 14