This is one of the oldest environmental taboos out there, so it’s not like you haven’t heard about this before. Plastic bags, the kind they give out for your purchases at every store in the world, are a horrible problem and have created so much garbage that some cities are now taking steps to officially ban them. You probably already know all this, but yet you still find yourself getting bags at the store. Now is the time to break that habit.
If you’re new to the world of eco-consciousness, this may actually be coming as a bit of a surprise that the harmless plastic bags is actually a big deal.
A plastic bag can take hundreds of years to naturally break down in a landfill environment, and there are many millions of them in there. But compared to the other bulky garbage that is in a landfill, this isn’t actually the biggest problem.
And not all bags are in the land fills in the first place, and this is the bigger concern. Millions of bags are just scattered to the wind as litter too. Besides the fact that this looks horrendous, loose bags can entangle animals and do harm to wildlife as much as just being unpleasant to look at. They end up in our water, and kill fish and marine life too.
One other aspect besides the garbage that is that it takes oil to make the plastic, and considering the cost of oil and the fact that it’s not a renewable resource means that this is a huge waste of something precious.
For the bags you still have around the house, try to get as much use out of them as you can without putting them in the garbage. Give them additional carrying duties or for storage in your home. Once they are really done, they should go in your plastic recycling bin. The point is to keep them out of the garbage as much as possible. All manner of plastic bags can be recycled. Just stuff them all into one bag, tie tightly and add it to your bin.
This is where you should be trying your hardest. Keep them out of your house in the first place. Get a good stock of really sturdy shopping bags and leave them near the door. Take when when you get groceries every time, and have a few in the car for those unexpected shopping stops. For smaller purchases, have lighter cotton bags with you. Again, keep at least one handy in a purse or in the car. There are some really cute ones on the market that fold down really small.
You can also just ditch the mindset that you need a bag at all. We tend to take a bag for things simply because it shows that the item is paid for. If you have only one item, it’s just as easy to carry it alone as it is to use a bag. So just skip the bag if you can.