Product Spotlight

Why We Should Use Reusable Bags (and How to Actually Do It)

Reusable shopping bags aren’t just a trendy way to carry your groceries as you walk home from the organic farmer’s market sipping your kombucha through a paper straw. There are actually many reasons why using reusable bags is the right way to carry your groceries (and everything else), not the least of which are new laws that mandate it in many areas.

As of April 2019, single-use plastic bags in large retail stores have been effectively banned in at least three states and ten more major cities and counties in the United States. Many other jurisdictions have implemented mandatory fees for plastic bags in stores and ramped up recycling efforts for single-use plastic products including bags.

So, why should we use reusable bags, and do the benefits of using reusable shopping bags really add up?

Impact of Plastic Bags on the Environment

Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash

The most obvious and urgent answer to the question, “Why use reusable bags?” is to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment. It’s not news that single-use plastics like water bottles and shopping bags are crowding landfills and endangering wildlife. In fact, pleas from do-gooders, tree-huggers, and others to reduce our plastic waste have become so ubiquitous that many of us may feel inclined to brush them aside.

Still, the plain truth is that our use of plastic bags is more than excessive (especially in the United States), and is taking a serious toll on the planet. So, rather than preach to you, our dear readers who just want to get to the point and buy some cool stuff, we’re going to hit you with some hard facts about single-use plastic bags.

5 Facts of Global Plastic Bag Use

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

  1. The Centers for Biological Diversity reports that harm to at least 267 different species has been attributed to plastic pollution in the oceans.
  2. Plastic bags alone kill up to 100,000 marine animals every year. One species that is especially hard-hit is the leatherback sea turtle, which often confuses plastic bags for the jellyfish they like to eat. 1 of every 3 leatherbacks is found with plastic in its stomach, according to the Centers for Biological Diversity.
  3. Residents of the United States use nearly one single-use plastic bag per person per day. Let’s put that into perspective, thanks to the National Geographic Society: Danish shoppers use only about four plastic bags per year.
  4. The Earth Day Network states that only about 1% of the 4 trillion plastic bags used worldwide annually are recycled, and residents of the United States throw away up to 100 billion plastic bags every year.
  5. A plastic bag takes up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill. According to the Earth Day Network, as plastic bags break down, they absorb toxins which can then be released into the wind, water, or ground.

Now that you’re aware of the dramatic impact single-use plastic bags have on our environment, we hope you have a better understanding of why we should use reusable bags. It seems like an easy decision to make and an easy practice to adopt, so what’s stopping us?

Why Don’t More People Use Reusable Bags?

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

With so many benefits of using reusable shopping bags, it seems like this is a no-brainer. And (theoretically, at least) it is.

Ironically, the biggest deterrent many people cite that keeps them from fully embracing reusable bags is our brains—we simply forget! We’ve all been there: you tote your groceries home and put them away, then leave your reusable bags in the kitchen. Or if you actually manage to get the reusable bags back into your vehicle, you leave forget them in the trunk when you go to the store.

Still Struggle to Use Reusable Shopping Bags?

Here are our best ideas for tricking yourself into making reusable bags part of your routine:

  • Make yourself go back for your reusable bags, rather than buying single-use bags at the store when you forget them.
  • Once your groceries are unpacked, put your reusable bags right by the door so you see them the next time you head out. Or even better—make an extra trip to put them in your car.

Yes, these extra steps may feel like a hassle at first, but if you take them enough times you’ll never forget your bags again. Plus, it’s a small price to pay for helping to save the lives of millions of animals…and our planet.

Reusable Shopping Bags for Everybody!

So, once we all figure out how to remind ourselves to take our reusable shopping bags to the store with us, the only remaining impediment to using them can only be that we don’t have enough of them.

Luckily for you, we sell a wide variety of reusable bags, as well as other eco-friendly promotional items. Even better, we customize them to promote your brand or cause at no additional cost.

Best of all, we offer great prices on reusable shopping bags — so you can afford to do more than your part by handing them out to clients, customers, guests, and friends with abandon. Doing so helps spread the word about why we should use reusable shopping bags.

Check out some of our favorites below, and click on them to get shopping!

Eco-Green Jute Tote, BAG-11585

Heavy Cotton 12 oz Tote Bag with Pocket, UDZ

Budget Shopper Tote, UDJ

Color Me Cotton Tote Bag, UDU

Katie H.

Katie in a nutshell? Well, for a start, she thinks custom pens are just about the coolest thing ever. Don’t you?

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