How many of you carry reusable bags when you go shopping? While an increasing number of people do, there are still some people who opt to use plastic bags for carrying their groceries. If you too are one of them, you miss reducing waste, and doing your part for your environment.
Eco-friendly reusable bags today come in various sizes, prints and patterns, and are made from various fabrics and materials. In fact, manufacturers of printed carrier bags manufacture reusable bags you can also use as fashion accessories!
While thick plastic is one option, many consumers like the look and feel of cloth shopping bags. There are also reusable bags made from synthetic fabrics or recycled materials. Whatever the material used, reusable bags offer the following environmental benefits:
- Reusable bags help you save the depleting ozone layer as most of them are biodegradable waste and thus easily decompose into elements which do not harm the environment. Plastic bags are made from petroleum oil and are rarely recycled and thus harmful to the environment as they take anywhere between 15 to 1000 years to decompose.
- In the next 1000 years, these plastic bags separate into tiny toxic particles which further contaminate water and soil. As the more plastic bags used increases the number of toxic particles in the water and soil, using reusable bags greatly reduces this toxicity.
About a million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting plastic bags. This is because only 1% of the plastic bags get recycled in US while the rest end up in the ocean, landfills and other places. These deaths can be avoided with reusable bags.
- Fuel is a non-renewable resource. As about millions of oil barrels are used to produce plastic bags all over the world every year, it is an unnecessary use of fuel. Reusable bags avoids the use of petroleum for making bags and thus reduces the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases into the environment.
- Just one set of reusable shopping bags eliminates the disposal of as many as 20,000 disposable plastic bags. In fact, quality cloth carrier bags can be used for years to come. As plastic bags are made burning fossil fuels and cutting down of trees, using reusable bags prevents all this and saves both environmental flora and fauna.
- If you think paper bags are better than plastic, you are wrong as though paper does not take years to break down, it does need a few months. Paper bags also take up more space in landfills as they are thicker and bulkier than plastic. Lastly, paper bags are made by cutting down trees, which itself is not environmentally friendly.
Besides all these environmental benefits, reusable bags also help reduce your monthly expenses. As reusable bags are strong and durable, they can be used more than once for carrying all your groceries.
Taking all this into consideration, if you want to help save the world, start by using reusable bags and not harmful plastic bags!