Plastic Bags – only used for 12 minutes

As plastic bags are controversially discussed these days, we chose the topic plastic bags. We would like to find out whether the use of plasitc bag causes great pollution or are environmentally friendly. To find out how other people think about it and how often people use plastic bags, we created a survey. We included the results of our survey.

Weil Plastiksäcke kürzlich kontrovers diskutiert worden sind, haben wir dieses Thema gewählt. Wir möchten herausfinden, ob Plastiksäcke eine grosse Umweltverschmutzung verursachen oder umweltfreundlich sind. Um herauszufinden, wie Leute darüber denken und um herauszufinden, wie oft Leute Plastiksäcke benutzen, haben wir eine Umfrage kreiert. Ein Teil der Resultate unserer Umfrage haben wir in diesem Post integriert.

Here is our selfmade video:

Materials used to produce plastic bags:
Normal bags:

  • Polyethylene
  • or Polythene (made of crude oil)

Eco bags:

  • lactic acid
  • or cellulose
  • or starch

Polyethylene is the most used material for bags worldwide. The problem with normal bags is that they can’t be decomposed because of the materials (Polyethylene). Normally we use them only once and it takes up to 400 years for them to decompose. They cause a lot of pollution and end up in oceans, garbages and other places. The average European uses around 500 plastic bags per year.

Polyethylen ist weltweit das meist verwendete Material um Plastiksäcke herzustellen. Das Problem mit normalen Plastiksäcken ist, dass diese aufgrund des Polyethylens nicht biologisch abbaubar sind. Normalerweise werden die Platiksäcke einmal verwendet. Bis sie zersetzt sind, dauert es 400 Jahre. Dies verursacht zum Beispiel in Gewässern eine riesige Umweltverschmutzung. Der durchschnittliche Europäer verwendet etwa 500 Plastiksäcke pro Jahr.

A bag weighs around 20g. For the production for one bag you need 40g of crude oil.
Ein Plastiksack wiegt etwa 20 gramm. Für die Produktion eines Plastiksacks wird etwa 40 gramm Rohöl verwendet.
Please click this link to see how plastic bags are produced.

Here you can see some of the results of our Survey:

Participants: 31 students and 1 teacher
Do you reuse your plastic bags? Verwendest Du Plastiksäcke mehrmals?
Do you try to reduce the use of plastic bags? Versuchst Du die Benutzung von Plastiksäcken zu reduzieren?
How much would you pay for a plastic bag? Wie viel würdest du für einen Plastiksack bezahlen?
The Survey showed us that most of the participants use plastic bags. However, they are aware of the fact that the use of plastic bags is not good for our environment. Because of this, most of them reuse their plastic bags several times and try to reduce the usage. On the other hand, more than 40% would not pay for a plastic bag to help the reduction of plastic bags.What are the advantages and disadvantages of plastic bags?


  • They are convenient
  • They are durable and can be used more than once
  • They take up less space in a landfill than paper bags (Washington Post)


  • 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year, worldwide (
  • About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute. (
  • A single plastic bag can take 20 to 1,000 years to degrade (
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down (


In conclusion the waste of plastic bags is decreasing due to the huge influence from the government and also from the shops since they want money for the bags.

We realised just now how toxic plastic bags are for our environment. We will certainly need to reduce the usage of plastic bags. In addition, we will try to convince other people to also reduce their usage ot plastic bags.

Kadri, Dominique and Imre

Reviewed by S. Hemmerle


☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

13 thoughts on “Plastic Bags – only used for 12 minutes

  1. Dear Kadri, Dominique and Imre

    It was very interesting to read your article about plastic bags.
    Nowadays we found some options to reduce the use of plastic bags and to reduce the damage of the environment. Major distributors like Migros, Coop etc. do not longer provide plastic bags for free. If you want to use a plastic bag, you have to pay a small amount of money. Also they provide reusable and biodegradable bags.

    I think this are good ideas, but we need some additional ideas to support the environment. On my view, the amounts for plastic bags are too low. I think to register an improvement for our enviroment we have to increase the amount of money for plastic bags. If people have to pay more money for a plastic bag, they will think, wether they need a plastic bag or not. Another point for me would be, that every grocery shop should refrain from providing plastic bags in the vegetables and fruits department. On my opinion, it is no problem to take the fruits and vegetables without a plastic bag or to use a reusable bag for them.

    For me it is very important to reduce the damage of the environment. I always try to carry a reusable bag with me and to avoid using a plastic bag.

    To sum up, I think we are on a good way, but we definitely need some other ideas to support our environment. Thank you very much for writting this article and for giving some informations about what happens, if we do not reduce our usage of plastic bags.

    Best wishes

    Tamara Keller

  2. Dear PlasticBag Team

    Thank you for this interesting article.
    This is an ongoing problem that we have in our culture so I’m glad you chose to write about this.
    I too try to reduce using plastic bags, however I sometimes find it quite difficult to not take a plastic bag at the grocery store because I forget my reusable bag at home.
    I hope I can change that in the future.

    As we can see in your survey many people are still wiling to pay for a plastic bag. Introducing a price for a plastic bag is surely a step in the right direction but in my opinion this is not enough. Our government should launch a ban on using and selling plastic bags in all stores, therefore the stores will be forced to only sell reusable and ecofriendly bags.

    I hope many people will stumble across this post and consider bringing their own reusable bag when they go shopping the next time.

    Best regards

  3. Dear Plastic Bag Team

    You made a very good contribution to this website!
    There are a lot of interesting facts to see in your article also because plastic bags are a big problem in our society now.

    Larissa, Valerio and Slavica

    1. Dear Larissa, Valerio and Slavica

      Thank you very much for your feedback!
      Yes, you are right and we hope that you will also try to reduce the usage of plastic bags. 🙂

      Kadri, Dominique and Imre

  4. Dear Plastic Bag Team
    You have choosen a very important and interesting topic. It showed us a lot of details about plastic bags, which we didn\’t know. We didn\’t understand some of your graphs. It Looks like you maybe confused the results. But the rest of your contribution was still very nice, especially with you selfmade video.

    Kind regard, Fabienne, Laura Nicole (Paper Team)

    1. Dear Paper Team

      Thank you again for your comnment! You were right. There was a mistake with the pictures. We changed it now.

      Kadri, Dominique and Imre

  5. Hi PlasticBag Team!
    A very nice post! The video is short but have a good message 🙂 We learned a lot about plastic bags out of your post. We also found it good that you have translated your post but why didn\’t you translate everything? That was kind of confusing but anyway you made a very interesting post!

    Thank you and have a nice day.

    Your Tire Team
    Lukas, Claudia & Ladina

    1. Dear Tire Team

      Thank you for your feedback and sorry for confusing you!
      We will try to translate everything.

      Kadri, Dominique and Imre

  6. What a tragedy! – This was our first thougt about this theme. It is incredible and sad at the same time. Our use uf plastic bags is quite serious.
    We didn\’t knew that europeans use 500 plastic bag per year in avergage!!

    To your contribution:
    -very interesting introduction
    -well chosen survey questions
    -impressive header picture
    -it is great that your survey results are bilangual

    Some things to improve:
    -You should enlarge your conclusion and final thougts a little bit more

    In conclusion we think that you\’ve done a great job with this contribution, because you show us in a clear way how bad our use of plastic bag really is for the environment.

    Best wishes
    Your paper team (Fabienne, Nicole, Laura)

    1. Dear Paper Team

      Thank you very much for your feedback! We will try to improve our conclusion!

      Kadri, Dominique and Imre

  7. I find this Topic very intresting! great post 🙂
    the discussion of plastic bag is very big right now, since you need to pay now. I learned a lot!

    1. Dear Ben

      Thank you very much for your feedback! We thought the same and that\’s why we chose this topic. 🙂

      Kadri, Dominique and Imre

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