By Amanda Wilkes
Would you change your mind about using plastic bags if I told you that they were the killer of more than 100,000 marine animals each year? Or that they take between 400 and 1,000 years to biodegrade? It’s not the larger predator in the environment that animals should fear: we are. And our relentless, unnecessary obsession with using plastic bags. Plastic bags haunt our delicate environment and the future of many species. Consider how often you go to the grocery store, how many produce bags you use, and how many grocery bags you use when checking out. On average, one person uses between 300 and 700 plastic bags per year, and that does not include the extra five or six produce bags used on every trip to the store.
It is difficult for me to accept that people use these bags for a max of maybe five to ten minutes to transport the groceries from the store to their refrigerator, then toss them into the trash to sit in a landfill or in the environment for centuries and centuries. Of course, there is an alternative and you all know what it is — REUSABLE BAGS!What I cannot rationalize is that most of us are very aware that there are reusable bags but continue to use the plastic ones. What is our excuse? In fact I question whether grocery stores should even offer plastic bags. Now, I acknowledge that reusable bags are not something you buy to save money, but think of the environment that you will be saving!
For a long time now I have been using reusable bags but I continued using the plastic produce bags. I did recycle the plastic produce bags, but for me that still wasn’t good enough. Thankfully, there are some other eco freaks out there who also had an issue with this, so they created reusable produce bags. What a thought! Not only can you make a positive environmental decision, but you also will see your fruit and veggies last longer when they are not stifled by a plastic shield. Produce thrives when it can breathe, which is why most reusable produce bags are made of organic cotton or netting.
WHOLE FOODS, TRADER JOE’S, and MOST GROCERY STORES
If everyone in the United States alone switched to reusable bags, more than 100 billion plastic bags could be eliminated each year. By making this easy decision, we can save tax money by reducing the cost of cleaning up our environment.