Plastic, disposable shopping bags are everywhere in America. The average person in this country uses six plastic shopping bags per week. With more than 300 million Americans, this adds up to nearly 2 billion bags being tossed away every day. If that is not enough reason for you to consider using reusable shopping bags, this article explains why you should.
10 Reasons to Buy Reusable Shopping Bags
- It is estimated to take between 15 and 1,000 years for the average plastic bag to decompose, depending upon the type of environment. A typical landfill environment causes the plastic bags to just sit for decades or centuries with minimal break down.
- Up to 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles and many other sea animals die annually from taking in plastic bags. Animals can confuse floating bags with sea life to eat, such as plankton and jellyfish. Once they eat it, the plastic clogs up their digestive tract. The animals typically starve to death. Other animals may drown after they are entangled in plastic bags.
- The cost of recycling plastic bags is relatively high and many recyclers will not accept them. Plastic bags are commonly discarded into landfills.
- The EPA estimates only 2% of all plastic bags are recycled. The rest are stuck in landfills or floating around the oceans, often leaching toxins into the soil and water.
- If you think paper bags are a better option, you should reconsider. The United States chops down 14 million trees per year to make the pulp to produce paper bags.
- Paper bags produce double the atmospheric waste as plastic bags, so they are not really a better option for the environment.
- Thrown away plastic bags have shown up as far away as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Survey reports.
- Plastic bags do not always remain in landfills due to their light weight. They often flutter away and are stuck in trees and littering our coasts.
- Petroleum products are used to make plastic bags, which are nonrenewable resources.
- Plastic bags comprise 10% of the washed up garbage that pollutes American coastlines.
8 Advantages of Reusable Shopping Bags
Conventional plastic and paper bags clearly are not healthy for the environment. Here are some big advantages of reusable shopping bags.
- Cost effective. You can use your cloth shopping bags for years and never throw them away. When they get dirty, it is simple to wash them and keep on using them.
- Reusable bags are strong and can be used for many years’ worth of shopping trips. They also can carry far more weight than plastic bags.
- Shopping incentives. Many grocery stores provide discounts and program points if you bag with reusable bags. Small savings can add up to a lot savings over time.
- Quicker bagging. Many consumers find that reusable bags hold their shape better than plastic and can be packed faster.
- Simple to carry. Carrying a reusable bag with a comfortable, cloth handle is much easier on the hands. No more cuts on your hands from plastic bag handles.
- No torn bags. How many times have plastic bags town while taking the groceries inside? Reusable bags will never tear or split.
- Put your brand in front of your customers and prospects. If you are a business, you can put your logo and contact information on custom reusable shopping bags. This is an effective marketing technique because customers typically have these bags for years. The more reusable bags you purchase, the lower the price per item. So it can be a very effective marketing campaign from a cost perspective.
- Reusable shopping bags available in different, materials, colors and designs. Common materials for reusable bags are canvas, hep, jute and polypropylene. Most of these bags are lightweight, machine washable and high durable for years and years of use.
Reusable Shopping Bag Tips
- Find bags for specific purposes. There are different types of reusable bags; some are heavy duty and made for canned goods, while others are thinner and made for produce and meats.
- Store bags in the car. The biggest reason that people with reusable bags do not use them is they forget to bring them to the store. If you keep them in the car next to you, it is more likely you will remember to bring them in.
- Wash bags often. Reusable bags do collect bacteria over time, so get in the habit of washing them every week or two.
- Use bags for other purposes. Reusable shopping bags are also great for carrying books, beach supplies, picnic lunches and any other common use where a big, sturdy bag is helpful.
Reusable shopping bags make a lot of environmental and economic sense, so be sure to purchase some today.
- Tips for Using Reusable Shopping Bags. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://lifeasmom.com/tips-for-using-reusable-shopping-bags/
- 50 Reasons to Go Green with Reusable Shopping Bags. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.squawkfox.com/50-reasons-to-go-green-with-reusable-shopping-bags/