The disposable plastic shopping bag was introduced in 1977, quickly replacing paper and cloth bags. They were first used in department stores, then by supermarket chains from the early 1980s. Environmental groups estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion of the bags are now used worldwide every year. (seattlepi.com)
Here’s some food for thought from Planet Ark:
In the marine environment, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles are killed every year from plastic bag litter as they often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish.
Using a reusable fruit & vegie bag would save our beautiful country at least to 2.4 billion bags every year - based on each household using 5 non-reusable bags per week.