Re-useable vs Plastic Shopping Bags

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reduce, reuse and recycle.  That is what we have been taught to do.  Think about how much waste we have even in just our households, and then think how much energy and manpower it takes to take care of this waste, as well as the environmental impacts.  With recycling programs nationwide and in most communities it is law to recycle. 

However, going to the grocery store, think of the endless plastic bags that you have probably accumulated over the years.  Plastic bags contribute to toxicity in soil and water and thus, should be avoided.  They can also take up to 1000 years to break down when buried in landfills!  When plastic bags are not recycled or deposited in landfills, they can end up in major water systems (such as oceans posing a major threat to animal and mammal safety).  Plastic bags washing up on shore can also be quite an eye sore!

So, in the spirit or reducing, reusing and recycling, we now have re-usable shopping bags.  These bags can help save the environment from the harmful effects of plastic bags.  Plus, reusable bags come in all sorts of sizes and shapes (even colors and designs for that matter!).  These bags are made from various materials, such as canvas, hemp, rice, recycled cotton, fibers, thick plastic and even corn.

Where can you find a reusable shopping bag?  Most stores now sell these reusable shopping bags (for a bargain price of one dollar).  The handy thing about a reusable shopping bag is the fact that they generally can fit much more than a regular plastic bag.  So if you have ever been that shopper with 6 bags in each hand, one being held painfully by a pinky, then you can save this laborious effort and cut down on the amount of awkward bags.

Some stores have taken matters into their own hands and refuse to provide plastic bags.  One such company (Canadian owned) is Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), so you will need to buy one of their reusable bags, or carry it out by hand! 

So, the next time that you go shopping, remember to bring along your reusable shopping bags and help the environment.  You probably make sound choices to fuel your body when you are looking for nutritious foods at the grocery store, so make another sound choice and help the environment!