A worldwide campaign to ban plastic bags such as those given out in grocery stores has been soundly rejected by UK scientists.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

It seems the whole issue surrounding this global movement relates back to a typo in an Australian study in 2002, quoting a Canadian study from 1987.

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Once again, numbers don’t lie, but liars use numbers.