Switching To Recycled Bags: 7 Reasons Why

It is encouraging today to see that society, including big businesses and companies, are taking a serious interest in improving the environment and saving our planet. This, along with the growing number of people who are recycling and paying attention to the number of plastics and other environmentally harmful products they use, bodes well for the future of our world.

One of the most frequently used – and most harmful – products today is plastic shopping bags. They are in use at virtually every supermarket and department store. Depending on the type of environment in which it is discarded, a single plastic bag can take anywhere from 15 years to 1,000 years to decompose. One single plastic bag. Now think about how many of them you have come home from the grocery store within the past month alone. One person. See where I’m going with this? It’s absolutely mind-boggling. (www.conserve-energy-future.com/30-breathtaking-reasons-to-switch-to-reusable-bags.php)

It’s time we all start being more mindful of our own carbon footprint. The ways we can make a difference are so simple. Recycle, buy items in biodegradable packaging, and switch to reusable bags. The amount of change that can come about simply by using reusable bags is amazing. Consider these 7 reasons to switch:

1. Low Recycling Rate

Many supermarkets and department stores now have recycling barrels in their lobbies where customers can return their plastic bags, not just from their store but from anywhere, to be recycled. Even though these collection barrels are placed in a convenient location, prominently displayed, the majority of people do not utilize them. They continue to toss plastic bags into the trash at some point. It is a great thing to see these businesses taking part in recycling in the first place considering the cost. It costs approximately $5,000 to recycle one ton of plastic bags, yet the same amount of bags costs about $30 to purchase. This is one of the biggest reasons recycling plastic bags is not very popular, meaning they are still ending up in landfills where a single bag can take up to one thousand years, TEN CENTURIES, to decompose. Reusable bags eliminate all of this.

2. Reusable Bags Are Good To Go

Reusable bags are made to last. How many times at the supermarket do some of your items have to be double-bagged (and gee, isn’t THAT even more helpful to the environment?) in order to keep the thin plastic bags from tearing open and spilling your items all over the place? Reusable bags are quite often able to be used for several years before they wear out and need to be replaced. In fact, a single average reusable bag has a lifespan equivalent to more than 700 plastic bags! Even though these bags are sturdy, they are lightweight and easy to store in a handy spot in your home or car. They are also washable so they can be cleaned whenever needed. (www.reusethisbag.com/articles/25-reasons-to-go-reusable)

3. Save Money By Saving Resources

It costs money to clean up the messes made by plastic bags, both figurative and literal messes. Even when plastic bags are tossed into the trash they often end up blowing out of trash cans, landfills, etc. When this happens, the bag ends up littering the streets, people’s yards, playgrounds and parks, bodies of water, everywhere. This requires cleanup, sure, but there are also other effects besides just picking up some trash. Animals, especially those found in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, can become trapped and suffocated by the bags. They can cause clogging and blocking of drains and waterways. When this happens, a professional is usually required to find and fix the problem.

California spends $8.5 million each year keeping the streets clear of these plastic bags. Taxpayer money pays for this cleanup. How much does your state have to spend annually to clean up these discarded plastic bags? Switching to reusable bags can prevent all of this. Just think of all the great things those tax dollars could be spent on if the plastic bag litter was eliminated.

4. Reusable Bags Are More Secure

Reusable bags are larger than grocery store plastic bags and can therefore, carry more items. Unlike thin, flimsy plastic bags, reusable bags retain their shape. They don’t collapse or fall over easily, which prevents your items from falling over and spilling out everywhere. This helps them to sit side by side in the car without falling onto one another and smashing things in the other bags.

How many times have you carried heavy plastic bags with the handles stretching and cutting into your hands painfully? Reusable bags are so much more comfortable to carry. You don’t have to worry about them ripping open from one tiny hole or tear. They are sturdy yet soft and easy to store away until you’re ready to use them again. One of my favorite things about reusable bags is that they come in so many awesome colors and styles. I love bright, colorful bags. They are inexpensive so I can create an entire collection to use for each season or holiday.

Many companies have started giving out Promotional Conference Bags at conventions and meetings with their logo and information printed on them. This is a great advertising option. I have a little trick I use to get my kids to help carry in groceries without complaining. I let each one of them choose two reusable bags that they like and I buy those. They are each responsible for carrying in only their bags. They enjoy it and it is a lot of help to me.

5. Reusable Bags Are Multipurpose

Even though it has become common to think of reusable bags as useful only at the supermarket, they can actually be used virtually anywhere for anything. Place one in your child’s room to collect their dirty laundry (no worries – simply toss in the bag and wash it right along with the laundry). They are perfect to hold school papers, drawings and art supplies, small toys, beach items, etc. Regardless of what they are used for, they can always be washed and reused. This keeps them handy, germ-free, and convenient for the whole family.

6. Natural Resources Are Saved

Many people don’t realize that a significant amount of oil and natural gas is necessary to produce plastic bags. These are non-renewable resources that are needed for things far more important than the production of the plastic bags that are causing so much harm to our planet. Reusable bags are created using fully recyclable contents, saving our limited natural resources and preventing the destructive mass clutter of discarded plastic bags.

7. Plastic Bag Production Is Toxic

The production of plastic bags involves the use of plasticizers. These substances are usually some type of solvent that is mixed with some type of synthetic resins to give elasticity and flexibility to the plastic bags. The manufacture of these bags also involves the use of petroleum and other toxic substances. Many of these toxins are released into the environment in one way or another as harmful by-products. Why do we continue to use plastic bags when they cause so much damage in so many ways?


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