Chances are, you already own a few reusable grocery bags. But, if you’re like many Americans, you forget them from time to time when you go to the grocery store. Here is a look at why EnviroCitizen.org believes that it’s so important for you to remember those reusable grocery bags every time you need to buy something.
Throughout the world, somewhere between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded every year, which translates to more than 1 million bags each minute! These plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. Instead of degrading, plastic bags go through a process called photodegradation. When plastic bags photodegrade, they break into smaller and smaller pieces, which contaminate soil and water. These tiny pieces also end up in the food chain when animals consume them.
When these plastic bags end up in the water, animals may mistake them for food. Once a plastic bag or piece of a plastic bag enters an animals’ digestive tract, it blocks the gastrointestinal system, causing the animal to starve to death. Hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other beloved animals die every year due to plastic bags. Plastic bags litter the landscape in Antarctica, where less than .5 million people visit annually.
You have reusable shopping bags so that you don’t contribute to the problem, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. You must pick your reusable shopping bags carefully because they’re not all created equal. Where was the reusable bag made? If a reusable bag costs you $0.99, why is that price so cheap? Unless a worker can whip out a bag in about 5 seconds and have it sent to a grocery store on a magic carpet, there are some negative reasons that some reusable shopping bags are so cheap. Opt for a bag that is made in a sustainable way and one that was made from workers who received a living wage.
The other thing to consider when purchasing reusable grocery bags is what they look like. Many businesses offer inexpensive, reusable grocery bags because they can use you for free advertising. Businesses want to get all of your patronage, but they know that you’ll go elsewhere for certain things. So, they bank on you taking their reusable grocery bag with you to other stores.
Instead of buying a bunch of inexpensive, reusable grocery bags from the store that you shop at, consider buying a handful of aesthetically pleasing, high-quality bags that you really like. Buy bags from a trusted source that offers a sustainable product made from renewable materials. These high-quality bags will last significantly longer than the $0.99 one and you won’t be a walking advertisement for your grocery store.
If you would like to purchase the right kind of reusable shopping bags, peruse through EnviroCitizen.org‘s selection of fun, high-quality, reusable grocery bags!