Are Certified Reusable Bags Better for the Environment Than Plastic Bags?

Plastic Bag in Tree

Certified Reusable Bags VS. Plastic Bags…Which One Is a Winner for The Environment?

To understand the benefits of certified reusable bags on the environment, you need to understand the negative impact of plastic bags. To be fair, plastic bags became popular for good reasons and they were initially manufactured and handed out with the best of intentions. Ultimately, when you weigh the impact of certified reusable bags against the impact of plastic bags, you can see what a better choice a reusable bag really makes.

The Material of a Bag Matters

Plastic bags are made using nonrenewable resources. This is a drain on oil and natural gas. Once these nonrenewable resources are gone that’s it. There are a lot of items made using nonrenewable resources, but since there is a limited supply it is key to responsibly manage what we have. Eliminating the use of items such as disposable plastic bags would allow the resources we have left to be redirected to make more useful and less environmentally damaging items.

Certified reusable bags are typically made using recycled or sustainable materials. Utilizing recycled plastic finds a new use and purpose for existing materials and closes the gap. The great thing about plastic is it can be recycled over and over again. Unfortunately, thin single-use plastic bags are seldom recycled, but more durable items, like certified reusable bags are much more likely to be recycled. Plant-based fibers, like cotton and jute, are sustainable, which just means it is a natural fiber that can go through the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting indefinitely. Sustainable materials are also biodegradable, meaning they safely break down and the components can be absorbed back into the earth.

The Environmental Impact of Plastic Bags

Plastic bags cause a lot of environmental damage. The unfortunate reality is that plastic bags are just not commonly recycled. The trouble with recycling plastic bags is that they are not widely accepted in most curb side recycling programs. It is often the responsibility of the consumer to figure out where to bring their leftover plastic bags. Many recycling facilities do not accept single-use plastic bags due to the difficulty the pose. The thin film of plastic bags can easily tangle in the machinery and significantly slow down the sorting and handling process.

A lot of the plastic bags out there end up as litter. Aside from being just plain ugly to look at, plastic bags are a major environmental problem. When exposed to the elements the plastic will break apart into tinier and tinier plastic pieces. These tiny plastic bits can leach chemicals into the soil and water. They can also enter into the food chain fairly easily. It is especially easy for marine animals to consume plastic. When small plastic fragments are eaten, the plastic chemicals can be absorbed into the body of the animal that consumed it. This is a health concern for that specific animal, as well as every other animal further up the food chain. It is also all too common for animals to consume larger pieces or entire plastic bags. The whole bags and even larger pieces can become tangled in the animal’s digestive system and lead to death.

People hold on to certified reusable shopping bags due to the reusable design. One reusable grocery bag normally lasts for about 5 years. By comparison, one plastic bag is used for its intended purpose for about 20 minutes. Reusable bags eliminate the need for disposable plastic bags, so all of the drawbacks of plastic bags, like using nonrenewable resources and the environmental harm and non-issues.

Put Certified Reusable Bags to Work Marketing for Your Brand and Help The Environment

Certified reusable bags are also much more likely to be disposed of in a responsible manner. Plastic bags are pretty much bad news right away, but reusable bags have a very minimal eco impact. Do you have questions about how to put a reusable bag to work for your brand? Let us know and we can answer your questions and help you create a custom bag that will get your brand noticed. Fill out a quote request or contact us for certified reusable bags for your brand.

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