Each year the United States consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil. Out of these only 1 percent of plastic bags get recycled annually. The rest are left to live indefinitely in landfills or they end up in our streets, parks and waterways, harming marine and other wildlife that digest them, or get tangled. Single use disposable plastic bags can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose, in a compressed landfill.
Wondering how you can help? Yes! the best alternative to disposable plastic bags is a reusable bag. One reusable bag can eliminate thousands of single-use bags over its lifetime. In spite of the best intentions of carrying reusable bags, remembering to carry your own bag to the grocery store is a challenge. Does it happen to you that after you have filled up your cart with healthy, organic, sustainable food items and you get to the checkout to realize that you’ve forgotten to bring your reusable bag? Studies show that 50% of Americans want to use their own bags, but only about 25% remember to do so.
So how best to remember your bags?
1. Keep your reusable bags handy in your car and always remember to put them right back in the trunk after emptying them.
2. Put a hook near the front door of your house dedicated to reusable bags.
3. Hang a few extra ones on the garage door knob.
4. Fold and throw the small pocket sized bags into your handbag or work tote for emergencies.
5. “Reusable Bags” should be topping your shopping list.
6. Children are the best reminder for you to carry your bag. Ask them to do that for you!
Reusable Bags are the ultimate answer to paper and plastic grocery bags. Over a lifetime, use of reusable bags by just one person would save over 22,000 plastic bags. Isn’t that even better incentive to remember to “Bring Your Own Bag”