Top Five Reasons to Remember Your Reusable Shopping Bags

Reason #5: Massive Island of Plastic Bags in the Pacific Ocean

There really is an enormous island of plastic garbage floating in the Pacific ocean.

This is no urban legend. A conglomeration of floating refuse, made mostly of plastic, and at least twice as big as Hawaii, is caught in the northern, circulating currents of the Pacific Ocean. Some reports suggest it may be much larger, but sources disagree on the concentration of pollution required to qualify as part of this atrocity. I wonder if that's really where we should focus our time and energy. After all, isn't it really bad enough that there is an enormous mass of sludge breaking down into toxic chemicals, leaching into the water and being consumed by various marine life, which is then potentially consumed by us...and our children?

By the way, just in case any Easterners were breathing a sigh of relief, a second one is rapidly developing in the Atlantic.

Lookin' Good with Your Reusable Shopping Bags

You too, could be this adorable and environmentally responsible...at the same time!
You too, could be this adorable and environmentally responsible...at the same time! | Source

Reason #4:Those Free Plastic Bags Are So Expensive!

In addition to the environmental toll of disposable plastic bags, there is a monetary burden shared by all consumers and tax payers.

Business owners must pay for all those plastic bags: the cost is then passed along to the consumer by increasing the price of the goods sold...to the tune of over $4 billion dollars per year in the U.S. alone.

Additionally, we the tax payers, are covering the cost of collecting and discarding all those used-once plastic bags. Landfills must be built and maintained; fuel must be burned to transport, even recycling centers must consume both energy and dollars to process plastic bags. It is estimated that each plastic bag carries a 17 cent price tag in waste disposal fees. In the U.S., we go through about 100 billion disposable plastic bags per year. Let's see, does 100,000,000,000 X .17= free?

The real cost of those free disposable shopping bags...not so free.
The real cost of those free disposable shopping bags...not so free. | Source

Fun Fact: There are 42 Gallons per Barrel of Oil

Plastic bags are made from oil or natural gas.  It the takes fuel to manufacture, ship and collect bags as waste.
Plastic bags are made from oil or natural gas. It the takes fuel to manufacture, ship and collect bags as waste. | Source

Reason #3: Plastic Bags Use Gas

Plastic bags drive up the price of gas.

Yes, it is true. Plastic bags are petroleum based; this means that they are made from non-renewable resources. Then it takes more non-renewable resources to manufacture the bags, transport the bags, and ultimately dump the bags. It takes 500 million gallons of oil to manufacture one year's worth of plastic bags in the U.S.

A Tip to Help You Remember...

I know, it is quite easy to forget the darn things and leave them in the car, right? Here's one idea which helped me: keep the bags in the drivers side door of your car. You should not be able to get out of the car without seeing them. If it helps, attach something sparkly or jangly on them to get your attention at first.

Remember, it takes two weeks to make or break a habit. You can do it! I did and I'm OLD. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Reason #4: Plastic Never Goes Away

Plastic does not biodegrade: it photodegrades.

This means that plastic is essentially broken down into smaller pieces by the sun. As it breaks down, taking anywhere from a year to ...well...forever (because it never sees the sun,) toxins such as PCB and BPA are leached into the surrounding water and soil. In other words, we are poisoning the earth and everything on it, including ourselves, with all of these disposable plastics. Isn't grabbing your reusable bag well worth the effort when you consider the ramifications?

"Remember, remember, remember..."
"Remember, remember, remember..." | Source

These come in several colors and patterns...love it!

...and the #1 Reason to Remember Your Reusable Shopping Bags: They Are Hip and Sexy!

Reusable shopping bags aren't just for groceries any more.

Ok, maybe "sexy" isn't the right word here; but they sure can be cute! You don't have to look like a fuddy-duddy, do-gooder or tree-huggin', patchouli-mamma either. Many of these bags are fun and fashionable! Take for example, any of the fantastic lines of shopping totes available at Amazon, and picked out by yours-truly, as some savvy, shoulder-slung, satchels to be proud of! For goodness sake, have fun with this!

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Informative..and true, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is no joke; it exists, and it is dangerous on many levels.

There is also a company that makes quite a number of cute bags FROM recycled juice pouches..their name is "TerraCycle," and they collect these wrappers from schools, which can collect them to earn funds, and the company turns them into useful products for a second life.

http://www.terracycle.net/en-US/


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 4 years ago

Yes, the so called free bags aren't really free and even if they were it wouldn't be worth it! Great hub :)


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

MsLizzy...I'm so glad you mentioned the TerraCycle bags. A few years ago I bought a bunch of Bazura Bags, same idea, made from recycled juice pouches: www.bazurabags.com. I used them as my "wrapping paper" for all my Christmas gifts that year. So awesome, and they insulate too.

And thank you lobobrandon, you may not be as interested in the cuteness factor but you obviously care about the real issue at hand.


vwriter profile image

vwriter 4 years ago from US

Very well written article. I know I use reusable bags. I wonder, maybe it's time to recycle plastic bags, instead of letting the land fill have them.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you vwriter and I agree.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Hi Mrs. M ... this is an important hub which needs to go viral!

I always keep three shopping baskets nested one inside the other, in the boot to the car (trunk, I think you call it over there). I just get them out when I go to the supermarket and guess what ... I get Nectar points for using my own bags. (Not sure if you have Nectar over there ... its a sort of way of earning points that I can translate into money off things).

We all need to do our bit. It is a pity they cannot ban plastic.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

I absolutely agree Angie...although, I believe there is a county in California that has banned "free" plastic bags. The consumer has to pay extra at the checkout for them. Great idea, says I, there is often no better incentive than cash.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

We've had to pay five cents a bag at all stores for years now, so I make sure I bring my own reusable bags with me. I keep one in my purse, a pile in my trunk and also have them in my coat closet.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Yea Susan!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working