50 Reasons to Go Green with Reusable Shopping Bags

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In Japan, the law changed recently and now folks are charged for plastic bags. There is no excuse not to do so any longer. As this article pointed out, we are discovering that it is really more convenient on an individual, personal level, in addition to helping the planet.

We remember our car keys, shoes, overcoats, purses, wallets or whatever when we go outdoors, and a canvas tote bag will become another such item for everyone. I just put the food back in the shopping cart naked, and load it straight into the saddle bags on my bike. I have these reusable satchels made of baby mink which I keep in my H2 so that I dont have to use paper and plastic bags. I find the satchels keep my feet warm on cold winter nights, so they have dual use, and they are warmer than my snow bunny slippers.

I use plastic bags and plan to continue doing so. Some things, like milk and laundry detergent, are best without a bag at all. So why do I use plastic bags? So easy to make! In fact, I have so many uses for plastic bags that sometimes I go shopping just to get more of them. Some of these things can be done with other materials, but not nearly as cheaply, which is one of the main benefits of plastic bags.

If all you do is use it once and throw it away, or even use it only as a bag, then by all means switch to reusable because that makes much more sense. Thank for reminding me to use my bags I have a few and have not used them My husband took them out of the car because he hates anything stored in the car I think I will but them back in today.

I keep them in my car so that even when I decide spur of the moment to shop somewhere, I have my own bags with me. I would think there are other organizations that also have similar programs. When my family moved to Germany from the UK in we had to pay for grocery store plastic bags, so we always took our own.

When we moved to the US in I was very surprised at the poor or non-existant recylcing policy here. Why has it taken the US so long to start to get its act together? Most states here are 20 years behind a lot of the European countries.

I am surprised that you would believe that wildlife would be so stupid not to know what to eat. There is no wild animals that would eat a plastic bag nor any plastic what so ever.

Predator animals eat what they kill and non-predator animals eat vegetation. I am a naturalist and I think this is stupid to say what you said.

Also, our sun is what is causing the earth to seem to be warmer, but is it really? In years the temperature has risen 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Watch your local weather and you will see that record high temperatures were set at various dates years ago. Volcano eruptions spew more CO2 into the atmosphere than man can do in scores of years. It seems that this only really relates to the shopping bag, then i got to thinking beyond that what about garbage bags? I come to think about that and wonder how i can change that at least at home. Do i just through garbage straight into the the can? I recycle as much as i can or is allowed here.

Anyways it wa just another thought to add…. The writers has very close and keen eye on the economic and environmental issues of the modern life style. If member of general public pay attention and spare sometime for research work, the issues can be advertised and focused quickly. As quickly people will be informed as they will try decreasing consumption.

First, thanks for the article. It is both informative and provides sources for claims made. However I am not sold on the canvas and other alternatives. I suppose situations vary a good deal according to geography, availability, lifestyle, etc. Here, we do NOT pay for plastic bags. Typically the stores use plastic and you have to ask specially for paper. This usually results in rolled eyes and dirty looks from the cashier and bagger. They routinely have a rack with an open plastic bag which pulls open a new one when the first is removed.

They tend to place only one or two items in each plastic bag resulting in far more numerous, slippery bags to manage from store to car to home. In my community plastic bags cannot be recycled with home collection. I use the paper bags at home to separate recyclables from non-recyclables. We have city provided trash cans, a bin for paper bags, newspapers, magazines, etc.

When its time to take out the garbage, I carry the full paper bags out and dump the non-recyclables in the trash can; the glass, metal, and plastic items in their recycling bin; and fold up the paper bags I used and put them in their recycling bin. I was surprised to see the problems recycling paper bags in the article, but remember fewer paper bags are needed than plastic. So even if it takes four times more resources to make paper bags, far, far less of them are needed.

Also as another poster mentioned about many uses for plastic bags the same can be said for paper bags. For non-liquids they can be re-used for carrying things, padding packages, and I even use them as brown paper to wrap packages to be mailed.

While paper may not degrade faster because of current conditions, if those in charge of landfills were required to handle them properly, they would degrade easily compared to the plastic ones that never do. Public should also convince shop keepers to remind customers that shopping bags are dilemma to earth and bring your reusable bag from home.

Pray God for more suitable solutions. I switched over to reusable cloth bags a few months ago. Most of the time when I go grocery shopping I walk to the store myself and the reusable bags are a lot easier to carry home than a plastic bag with uncomfortable handles that will rip. We have to stop this AL Gore stupid mentality of taxing the consumer…. If a plant produces X Amount of carbon emission then tax the freak in plant, company, oil producing manufacture after all there the ones exploiting other countries and making record profits.

But please let stop this following the lead of this freaking idiot Gore which is going to have us all screaming poverty in a few years with this carbon foot print BS…not intended to offend but to blow some steam….

I reuse plastic bags from the grocery as garbage bags. I have never bought garbage bags. Plastic bags are a hydrocarbon which means they are a derivative of oil or natural gas. The manufacture of plastic bags does not affect the amount of oil or natural gas that is consumed.

We do not drill for oil or natural gas to produce plastic bags. Plastic bags are a derivative which means that in the refining process to produce gasoline or other fuels, a small percentage 1. Plastic bags actually account for less than 0. In North America, plastic bags are made from natural gas, not oil.

Plastic bags are very recyclable. For example, a variety of products like plastic lumber and plastic bags are made with recycled plastic bags. Plastic bags will degrade but require heat or ultraviolet light UV. Because of the stability of the plastic molecules, plastic bags do not degrade easily. Estimates of years are random and inexact.

Depending on the climate, a plastic bag will decompose into a powdery substance within a few years. The absence of heat, light, and moisture in landfills means that nothing biodegrades quickly in a landfill. Plastic bags are non-toxic and are comprised exclusively of a stable molecular structure of Carbon and Hydrogen.

Research data shows that a significant amount of plastic bags are re-used for many secondary purposes before disposal. One more thought what happens to the earth once we no longer have trees? I have to agree with Dave and the teacher… I reuse every plastic bag that comes home with me, except the drippy ones. Most are used as waste can liners. I twist and roll the bags up into a donut shape and tuck the end into the middle, throw a bunch of them into the bottom of the trashcan, and have a spare waiting there ready to go in when I remove the full bag of trash.

I double bag them and use as my garbage bags in a wire contraption that hangs inside the door of the sink cabinet. There are a thousand uses for the the bags — some of mine are reused several times. I also use them in my recycling… and once the recycling is emptied out at the transfer station, they have a recycle bin there for the plastic bags.

They also come in handing in keeping sewing projects separate, and scrapbook projects also. And around the paint rollers that I store in the freezer until I need to use them again.

The animals ARE smart enough not to seek out plastic as a food source but enroute to finding food, the plastic can encircle their head causing all sorts of problems.

And as an observant naturalist, have you not noticed plastic bags blown into trees and staying there…for a really long time? Forget your grudge against Al Gore already and just think about the other issues with plastic. As for taxing the consumer.. How many people would speed if it were not for the penalty of the ticket? Think about this one.. FINALLY- I am struggling to remember my canvas bags and have even gone back to the car to get mine, leaving the cart full in an unobtrusive spot and loosing my place in line.

If I am really pressed for time , I do accept the paper for school book covers and holding my newspaper recycling and also use the plastic for all the good ideas already mentioned. There will always be some plastic bags, buddy, but we all should be slowing down the demand and be thoughtful with what we use. This message was an alraming awakening to me.

I feel that this should be taken seriously, and should be prevented. I wonder why plastic bags are targeted. Yes Ireland charges for plastic bags.

Any quarter carts i have seen you get the quarter back when you return the cart to the cart corral. Which is a good idea because it cuts down on damage to cars from rolling carts.

Pop bottles are targeted even thought the water bottles are the same as a lot of the soda bottles. Has anyone priced plastic lumber? Not to mention all the other products that are made of plastic in a throw away society.

The cycle will not end soon. Greed is a great motivator. I have seen corporations say we will recycle bags and plastics but throw away other products that can be recycled.

Maybe someday technology will make it more profitable to recycle. Until then recycling will be minimal at best. This is just my opinion on the perceptions i see in day to day living. I am just very fortunate to be working for a garbage dump and a recyling station.

And the things, as an employee, I can take advantage of! Free firewood, free lumber some used, some not , trim boards, tables, chairs, dressers, free landscaping timbers, flower boxes, veggie boxes, tools, sawhorses, doors, windows, free plants and pots for plants, and lots of furnishings, fencing, and garden hoses. Good clothes, even past pull date foods straight from the groceries with no garbage mixed in.

There is a strict rule tho that items are for personal use only, and any attempts to resell anything at all would result in immediate dismissal. Sure helps stretch my budget! This is a great article which makes just too much sense. I believe the reference to paying a quarter for a cart is aimed at Aldi stores.

The shopping carts at Aldi are linked by chains. To release a cart, the shopper inserts a quarter into a slot on the cart which pops out the lock, and the shopper can pull the cart out and go into the store.

This helps keeps prices lower there. Louis, most of the grocery stores are selling canvas or plastic reusable bags. Trader Joes sells a very nice, tall plastic bag that can hold a ton of stuff, including heavy glass milk bottles. Most of the cashiers and baggers here are getting used to the idea of shoppers bringing in their own bags.

Sometimes they instinctively reach for the plastic bag until I announce I have my own. Some stores such as Whole Foods is phasing out bags altogether. I believe they have already phased out plastic bags they are depleting existing stock and will soon charge for the paper bags, thus encouraging the use of reusable bags.

Let me get on my soapbox for a moment. It is high time we all realize the day of blatant waste and crass hyper-consumerism here in the U. Our economies cannot continue to grow or even be sustained by wasteful consumption of resources as evidenced by our current economic situation in terms of oil and food.

The opportunities for strengthening the economy through developing renewables and reuse of resources is boundless if we just let ourselves do it. Both oil and natural gas are limited, non-renewable resources. How can it be otherwise? And even cutting down trees in managed forests for paper bags still adds to greenhouse gases and land damage.

While plastic bags can, indeed, be recycled into usable products or be re-purposed such as for lining the trash bin, it does not justify the level of use of plastic bags that litter, use oil and natural gas and continue to pile up in already burgeoning landfills. I used to work for a waste management company. Our economy and our mindsets are so focused on convenience, quick gratification get what we want, when we want it , technology remembering stuff for us, not making any self-sacrifices, no real accountability for our actions, and not considering the consequences of what we do on a daily basis such as driving gas guzzlers or what happens when we throw stuff away.

Recycling, driving less and bringing our own bags to the store requires some thought and planning. That is where the whole resistence to recycling, conserving and anything that might help protect the environment comes from. Who cares what happens in Bangledesh or even Canada when we continue to burn fossil fuels like there is no end, right?

Get Bent, ye rest of the world! We had the political clout, military strength and wealth to do whatever we wanted. Well, that is no longer the case.

The days of cheap gasoline, cheap food, cheap anything are gone as demand for these goods increases globally and our own economy faulters on the brink of disaster. It takes just a second to determine if something can go in the recycling bin versus the trash or the thought to bring in your own bags to the store. Yes, we sacrifice when it comes to our military and fighting for what we believe is right.

There is so much mis-information, including some in the previous postings, that tries to justify doing nothing. We may not like to admit that, but it is so true. Food riots, high gas and food prices and even increasing air pollution in our cities is blindingly clear evidence there is a problem. We need to get over ourselves as consumers and realize this and make changes.

If we have to do it for selfish reasons, such as saving money, that is a great start. If even that selfish reason of cutting costs to ourselves which may mean a better life overall is not an incentive for us all to take action, then perhaps we deserve to have it legislated to us…for our own good and the good of the global community to which we are invariably linked.

I DO like to have some plastic bags on hand, as I find them very re-usable as well. I cut them in strips and use them to tie staked up plants in the garden. I never have to buy plastic trash bags. There are lots of ways to re-use them.

I find by using the canvas bags for my groceries and then getting plastic bags at the drugstore or clothing store, I can have it both ways. The plastic bag conversation over at Smart Spending has reached comments and counting.

Sacking plastic bags is most certainly a passionate topic. Please do take a peek over at Smart Spending for other viewpoints on plastic, paper, and reusable shopping bags. There is no posted policy at our local Freddies, but I just called, and you are right! Thanks for the tip. Also, if you have a sewing machine and a piece of fabric, you can make your own bags.

You can download a pattern for free on the web. All we can do is become educated which is sometimes difficult, depending on where the information coming from , and our best. I am an observant individual who believes we live on an ever evolving planet. Having said that, we could all be far more responsible consumers, across the board. I have been using canvas shopping bags for about 6 months and I love them. I also shop at Aldi a grocery store in Charlotte that charges for bags and requires a 25 cent deposit for a grocery cart.

I love the idea — it teaches my son to put the cart back where we found it and the parking lot is CLEAN — no carts seems to equate into no trash. My complaint right now is excessive packaging. Not that I buy them or would without the excessive packaging — but the Keebler cookies that come 10 to a plastic cup covered in plastic. This is used to keep the cookies from breaking in a lunch box. I am from the generation of my cookies wrapped in my napkin and placed beside my sandwich and apple in the bottom of a paper sack.

My cookies were always fine — tasted the same broken or whole. Do we need plastic padding over plastic over the plastic toy and then placed inside a cardboard box covered in plastic shrink wrap?

As a simplistic illustration: I guarantee you if that had happened in the s, on a realistic green earth vs. Going Green on shopping bags is a pittance.

Add the bags that would litter the floors as everyone set them down to pick something off the shelf and it would become a nightmare. Third, it seems that what you want is to suggest that we haul our bags or bins in, put the bags or bins in the cart good luck on the fit.

Put the goods in the b-or-b, holding them up until full enough to stand on their own. Now multiply this by 10 behind the open checker lanes as every other person is doing the same thing. Now add another minutes transfering stuff from cart to bag as the only way to alleviate the checkout lane problem. I hate the smell of it, it gets all over things like the bakery boxes and milk jugs but at least the stuff in the plastic bags stays fairly odor free.

If I leave canvas sacks in the back, everything will come home smelling like an ashtray. Do I have to pay a monetary penalty for leaving them on the kitchen counter?

While I am nominally against this crap, I fully realize that my precious discount card already records more of my shopping habits than anybody but me deserves to know. So why not at least make it -useful-. So that either upon setting it into the bin, bag or cart.

It should be easy for a checker to hit a key that tells your credit company what a good little socialist you are. You may detect that I am somewhat sarcastically sceptical of social engineering as group environmental think.

Green shopping means nothing next to 1 kid per family until we are back below 1. Suggesting that we stand ready to radically change our personal habits while continuing to push for 10 billion population instead is just inane. I live in Germany on any Army post…it is the norm for all Germans to have their own woven shopping baskets or some other reusable container.

They bag their own purchases also, as a rule. If there are plastics bags available at the store, you do pay for them. This is looked down upon, and even if you do buy them, you still have to bag your own stuff.

I like it and I try to adapt. I hope the world just gives a 3 or 5 year time table and just get this product completely banned. Our kids and grandkids will thank us for this. Just recently I became aware of the plastic bag craze and have begun to use reusables. I have always been annoyed by how many bags the stores want to give you, usually 2 or 3 times as many as you really need.

I received a slide show that really hit home for me about where and what plastic bags really do to our beautifully God created world. If anyone is interested in seeing it, I would be more than happy to email it to you!! Any information or ideas would be appreciated. I need to find a biodegradeable option for this so that I can kill the addiction to plastic bags!

I already bought reusable bags, I just tend not to use them because I have yet to figure out what I will use for the cats once I run out of my plastic bag stash.

Still better is to reuse the bags. They make a great material for braiding, crocheting, weaving etc. Here is the ultimate Grocery Bag by RecycleCindy http: Of course I was aware of the fact that trees were cut down to make them, but I thought it was a heck of a lot better than having millions of plastic bags that would eventually suffocate the wildlife in some way. Of course, where I live paper bags still make more sense than plastic because I live in a very small town out in the country.

So if I get groceries for them, I get paper, because they will burn it and it takes a long time for that burn barrel to fill up with ash. And once it is filled, we dump it it in a pasture in the same spot and it becomes a part of the earth. But for me it is a little smarter than using a plastic bag once and then just throwing it away. And keeps frozen goods frozen on the trip home. Does anyone know of a reusable grocery bag available for purchase that is a sturdier type than what you see at the grocery stores with their logo on it?

You know, I was going to donate some clothes the other day, and started looking at how I could make shopping bags out of some of them. I think I will! I have been […]. One only would be longer and include the bottom piece also. Thanks for the great idea! Thanks for that link to the T-shirt bags!

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