Invest in Reusable Tote Bags to Make a Lasting Difference!
Single-use plastic bags are expensive to produce, starting with the process of making them all the way down to the hidden charges that are worked into the cost of products you are buying. Finally, they take their final form as rubbish that will pollute the earth for up to 1,000 years.
Reusable tote bags, on the other hand, provide a cheap alternative to plastic bags. According to Save The Bay, “Retailers currently embed 2 to 5 cents per plastic bag and 5 to 23 cents per paper bag in the price of goods — adding $30 or more per person annually in hidden costs.”
Three reasons to go reusable are to break the status quo, improve the environment, and to set an example.
1. Break the Status Quo
Bad ideas don’t seem so bad when they are accepted as the norm. There is comfort in convenience and repetition but there is a price being paid every time you use a plastic bag, even if you don’t realize it. A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down, so why not make the switch to reusable bags instead of consistently placing a burden on the environment?
According to The World Counts, five trillion plastic bags will be used globally this year, with less than 1% of those being recycled. In order to change the world, you have to start small.
2. Improve the Environment
The plastic bag you saw rolling along the side of the highway could end up in our local communities' bodies of water, impacting the health of wildlife. Additionally, recycling the plastic bags after you have used them isn’t doing as much good as you would think. The recycling process itself is costly. The Clean Air Council reports that one ton of plastic bags costs $4,000 to recycle and only $32 to produce. This leads to the waste being dumped into landfills rather than being properly recycled.
At this time, there are no reasonable options for making plastic bags more environmentally friendly, so it’s time to phase them out. According to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), it’s estimated that there are 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in every square mile of ocean. Also, the SPREP estimates that in order to produce the 100 billion plastic bags used in the U.S. each year, it takes 12 million barrels of oil.
3. Set an Example
Become a voice for the environment in your circle and start setting an example by committing to using reusable tote bags in your day-to-day life. Plastic grocery bags were introduced in the U.S. in 1979, and in the decades since, they have done far more harm than good. The relative newness of plastic bags is a positive in the fight for the environment's well-being. However, while there has been damage done and the pollution can’t be rolled back, it can be slowed down.
If you make a commitment to removing single-use plastic bags from your daily life, you will not be alone. There are already communities that have changed policy at both a local and state level and the ball is just starting to get rolling.
Single-use plastic bags have created a problem that demands a response, and it starts with you. Next time you head to the grocery store, think about bringing a reusable bag along with you. Contact us today to learn more.