How Reusable Grocery Bags Can Reduce the Problem of Plastic Pollution

Bulk reusable shopping bags

We?ve all seen the pictures and documentaries about plastic pollution ending up in the oceans and endangering seabirds, fishes and all marine life. We know that even in landfills, plastic grocery bags can take a thousand years to biodegrade. We?ve all felt that mixture of sadness, anger and hopelessness at the vast scale of the problem. But even as individuals, we can begin to tackle the problem. Even the smallest reduction in plastic usage can mean safety for some small sea creature or bird. One of the easiest ways to begin making a change is by switching to reusable wholesale grocery bags, cutting down on single use plastic bags.

Plastic pollution: the bad news
The bad news is that the earth is awash in plastic pollution. On land and on sea, on remote islands and in the middle of the oceans, the debris from our wasteful lifestyles is endangering living creatures and ecosystems. The enormous harm it does can be seen from these figures: every year, ingestion of floating plastic particles in the seas lead to the deaths of a million seabirds, 100,000 sea turtles, and unnumbered other sea creatures.
Single use plastic grocery bags are some of the most egregious offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. As the name suggests, they are used only once, for just about 25 minutes at at time. Then they go to the landfill, where they can take anywhere from 15 to one thousand years to biodegrade. Only about 2% of all plastic bags used are recycled, according to the EPA.

Alternatives: the good news
Rather than giving in to despair, we should recognize that there are solutions at hand. All we need is the will, as individuals and as a society, to put these into action. We can begin by replacing plastic bags with reusable bags. We can recycle the plastics we do use, to help reduce the overall amount of plastic in existence.
The good news is that there are alternatives to using plastic, and many of them are already at hand. You must have seen them at the grocery store checkout, costing less than a dollar and ready to bag your groceries again and again. And again. Reusable grocery bags are a quick and practical way to begin cutting down on the vast amounts of plastic waste produced by our way of life.

Reusable wholesale grocery bags v. paper
There?s no denying the fact that single use plastic bags are convenient. That?s why it?s so difficult to stop using them altogether. Many people think that paper bags are a good alternative. But trees are destroyed to make paper bags and the total numbers involved are staggering. For instance, in just one year, 1999, 14 million trees were destroyed to produce the 10 billion paper bags used by Americans in that single year.
Reusable grocery bags can help to limit the number of trees destroyed for making paper bags. That?s a big win for the planet, and for your conscience. Reusable grocery bags are typically made from recycled materials, making them even more ecofriendly. And they come in attractive colors and designs, so you can wear your nature-loving, tree-hugging heart proudly on your sleeve as you lug your groceries home.

While the problem of plastic pollution is staggering in its scale, there are solutions at hand. Reusable wholesale grocery bags are not the complete solution, but they are the beginning of the solution. It?s a solution that we can all be a part of, with the confidence that our combined efforts will have an impact.

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