Plastic pollution is a serious problem that threatens both land and sea environments. Plastics last for a long time and can take up to a thousand years to biodegrade in landfills. In the meantime, they pose an active hazard for birds, animals and aquatic life. Single-use plastic bags, like those used for groceries, are one of the major components of plastic pollution worldwide. For most people, switching to custom reusable bags can reduce their use of plastic grocery bags. Reusable bags should be washed frequently.
A sea of plastic
The earth is drowning in a sea of plastic, quite literally. The ubiquitous plastic bags used for carrying groceries, and discarded without a second thought, don’t just disintegrate when they are thrown away. In fact, they can take up to a thousand years to biodegrade in landfills. In the meantime, they pose an active hazard to animals, birds and marine life.
In the U.S. alone, about 100 billion plastic bags are used each year. Each individual uses between 350 to 500 plastic bags each year, on average. A significant percentage of these bags wash into rivers and oceans, where they pose a threat to birds and sea-dwelling creatures. It is estimated that every year a million birds, 100,000 sea turtles, and many other sea creatures die from ingesting plastic.
How using recyclable grocery bags can help
Cutting down on your use of plastic grocery bags can help to reduce the scale of the problem, while scientists and researchers struggle to find a way to clean up the existing pollution. Just one reusable bag has a lifetime that is equal to 700 plastic bags. Many stores now stock reusable grocery bags at the checkout, and these typically cost just a dollar.
Reusable grocery bags come in many varieties and materials, from canvas to bags made from recycled plastics. Many custom reusable bags are printed with attractive designs that cheer you up while running errands. Reusable bags have many uses beyond lugging groceries. They can also be used to lug library books, picnic supplies and just about anything else you need to carry. Custom wine bags and Halloween bags make events a little more interesting and ecofriendly.
Some practical considerations
Many people tend to not use their custom reusable bags because they just forget to bring them to the store. It helps to keep them handy, in your hallway, perhaps hanging on a peg near the coats-and-boots, or in your car.
It’s also a good idea to wash reusable bags regularly, to avoid cross contamination. At the grocery store, it’s a good idea to use separate bags for meats, keeping vegetables and other groceries in a different bag.
Custom reusable bags can make a difference to the problem of plastic pollution on land and sea. They’re easily available at grocery stores and come in bright colors and cheerful designs. They can put an extra spring in your step when you remember that they are help seabirds and other marine life by reducing deadly pollution.