Plastic shopping bags are tiny portion of the waste stream, so it makes sense that municipal litter audits conducted over the past 20 years all across North America show that plastic shopping bags are a tiny part of litter at less than 1%; 0.4% on average.
Bags are such a small component of litter that a ban on bags will have no impact on litter reduction.
North American Municipal Litter Studies – 102,951 litter observations show Plastic Bags 0.4% of Litter
Whether it is San Francisco, San Jose, or Toronto, plastic shopping bags are a miniscule part of litter.
Recent scientific litter audit data has been provided by MGM Management, one of North America’s leading experts in accumulated litter audits. They have their head office in British Columbia. MGM undertook to review 44 litter audits that it been commissioned to conduct by municipalities across North America over the past 14 years. They looked at 44 litter audits and 102,951 litter observations and found:
Plastic Shopping Bags – Retail Bag Litter as a % of the Litter Stream