If you watch the news or read the local newspaper, then you’ve likely heard the news that plastic bags are harming our environment. But what you may not know is just how important it is for each and every family to refuse plastic bags when shopping and instead take their own reusable shopping bags to the stores. If you know you should be using reusable grocery bags, but aren’t exactly sure why, here are ten reasons why you should make the switch today.
They’re Expensive to Recycle
Recycling centers won’t take plastic bags and recycle them. That’s because it costs too much to recycle these bags, so the bags end up in the environment, including our oceans, landfills, and lakes.
It Can Take Centuries to Decompose
When a bag does end up in a landfill or ocean, it can take between 15 and 1,000 years to decompose. And considering how many bags we use each year, it won’t take long before we have nowhere else to put them.
They Don’t Always Biodegrade
Since plastic bags don’t always biodegrade, they have the capacity to photo degrade, which means they turn into polymer particles. These toxic particles then become a part of our land and oceans.
We Use a Lot of Them
The average American family uses between 350 and 500 plastic bags per year. That adds up to 100 billion plastic bags a year. All of those bags have to go someplace, and since the recycling centers don’t take them, that means they contaminate our environment.
They Cause the Death of Animals
When animals in the ocean see a plastic bag, they think it’s food and eat it. Unfortunately, those bags block the digestive tracks of the animals, which causes them to die of starvation.
They Cause Oil Prices to Rise
It takes about 12 million barrels of oil to produce the amount of plastic bags Americans use every year. And because the bags are made up of petroleum products, they use nonrenewable resources and cause the prices of oil to go up.
They’re Becoming More Fashionable
Forget the reusable shopping bags of yesterday when they only came in solid colors and had some store’s name blazed across the front of it. Now, you can find cute reusable shopping bags that fit your fashion style.
They Last a Long Time
One reusable shopping bags lasts a long time. In fact, it’s been estimated that one can outlast 700 plastic bags.
You Can Earn Money
Many major grocery chains now offer a discount when you bring your own shopping bags to their store. Over a lifetime, that small change can add up to big savings.
You Can Make a Difference
If the problem seems overwhelming, you should know that if you used reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags over your lifetime, you would keep 22,000 plastic bags out of the environment.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to use reusable shopping bags for all of your shopping needs. You can take them to the grocery store, pharmacy, big box store, and everywhere else you buy your products.