March Madness! Why Using Single Use Plastic Bags Is Just Plain Crazy

plastic-bag-in-tree

March Madness: Why Single Use Plastic Bags Are Just Plain Madness

There are so many drawbacks when it comes to using single use plastic bags from the economic to the environmental that it makes me wonder why more businesses and consumers are not on board with going reusable. Disposable plastic bags harm the planet and your bottom line and there is just no reason to continue to use these bags when there are so many great reusable shopping bag options available.  Doing so is just plain crazy!

The Cost of Disposable Plastic Bags Adds Up

A lot of people think single use plastic bags are free since they are just handed out at the checkout lane in stores. However, stores initially foot the bill and they pass along the expense to their customers. So while shoppers do not pay an outright fee for these single use bags, they are paying for them.

Sometimes stores that do not offer bags have lower prices in part because they are not incurring the expense of disposable bags. A lot of stores that provide single use plastic bags offer a discount to shoppers who bring their own reusable shopping bags. Often this discount is only a few cents, and it is designed to counter the store’s cost of single use bags, so customers who do not use disposable plastic bags do not cover their cost. The savings may not be terribly significant for each trip, but it will add up over an extended period of time and ultimately you will be sending a message to the store that you do not support the use of disposable plastic bags.

Using Nonrenewable Resources is a Serious Matter

Disposable plastic bags are made from petroleum, which is a nonrenewable resource. Once this resource is gone, it’s gone. While it’s reasonable that there is enough oil left to create millions of disposable plastic bags that doesn’t mean we should not seriously look into other bag materials. We are very oil dependent and if we can stop using disposable plastic bags and therefore the oil currently used in their production, that will lessen our dependency and mean more oil for other uses.

no plastic

Environmental Impact of Single Use Plastic Bags is a Major Concern

The environmental impact of single use plastic bags is a major reason why these disposable nuisances are just plain crazy madness. The thin film these single use plastic bags are constructed from allows discarded bags to easily be carried by the wind or water so they can end up just about anywhere. Disposable plastic bags are a serious threat to animals and their habitats, they are a danger to the food chain and they are just ugly to look at.

Recycling Is Not the Best Solution

Single use plastic bags are recyclable, but unfortunately the recycling rates are very low. The EPA estimates that in 2012 only about 12 percent of the disposable plastic bags created were recycled. Recycling rates have risen dramatically over the last few years as a result of campaigns to increase awareness, but the majority of disposable plastic bags handed out at the checkout will not be recycled.

Increased recycling rates are a good idea in theory, and it is the best way to handle the disposable plastic bags we already have but in practice, recycling is just is not offering an adequate solution. It is fiscally and environmentally irresponsible and crazy to continue to produce disposable plastic bags since the recycling rates are so low.

Lifespan of a Single Use Plastic Bag

The thing that REALLY doesn't make sense to me is that people use a single use plastic bag for such a short time and for such silly things!  Seriously do you really need a bag for every little thing like a pack of gum or (and I have really seen this) a bottle of water that you are going to immediately drink?  How long is the amount of time that a single use plastic nag really gets used anyway, like 15 minutes?

Do You Still Think Single Use Plastic Bags Make Sense?

With all of the harm disposable plastic bags cause it just doesn’t make sense to continue to use them. From the expense, to draining resources to the negative impact on the environment it is madness to keep these disposable nuisances around, especially when there are so many reusable shopping bags available made from sustainable or recycled materials.

Leave a Reply