Are there benefits of reusable bags? You may not think about it too often, but bags are a big part of your everyday life. Bags of groceries, bags from the shopping mall, handbags, and backpacks to carry your essential items. Gift bags during holiday celebrations and to-go bags for leftover food. The list could continue forever. Even if you don’t go out every day, you are still using trash bags at home and bags as containers to store random odds and ends.
Bags are everywhere! But with so much plastic and plastic-coated paper being used so often, it’s bound to impact the environment negatively. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a bag that could be reused over and over again, so it doesn’t get thrown into a landfill? Our inventory at APlasticBag.com provides several reusable bag options. So, you don’t have to worry about contributing to something harmful to the environment.
Today, we wanted to take a look at the benefits of reusable bags. We will explore their effect on the environment versus disposable plastic and paper bags.
Factors that Affect the Environment
In order to understand what kind of bags have the least negative impact on our planet, we need to know what exactly goes into producing bags. The first factor to take a look at is production. What kind of energy and resources does it take to produce just one bag? How many natural resources are taken from the Earth? Does the manufacturing process produce emissions?
The next factor to think about is usage. How is it used? How long can it be used for? Does it negatively affect the health of the human using it? Lastly, think about disposal. Is the bag biodegradable? Will it pollute the environment once discarded? Can it be broken down or burned in an incinerator (which outputs harmful chemicals into our atmosphere)?
These factors determine how harmful a bag actually is on the world we live in.
Disposable Plastic Bags
A comprehensive WM Northwest study found that plastic bags kill at least 100,000 marine animals each year. Dead whales and marine mammals are often found washed ashore with tens of pounds of plastic in their stomachs. Plastic bags and other plastic products that are used once and then thrown away can have a drastic impact on our oceans as they break down the complex ecosystems that every life form depends on.
But the solution to this problem isn’t as simple as you may think. Many nations, states, cities, and locales have tried imposing laws that switch plastic to paper, but paper bags have some adverse environmental effects of their own.
The most prominent solution in place is to increase the use of reusable bags. However, even this needs to be taken in moderation. For example, if one accumulates too many reusable bags, the environmental impact may be just as devastating as having disposable plastic bags when the time comes to dispose of them.
Yes, reusable bags of any material are much safer for the environment than disposable bags. However, just replacing one disposable bag with one reusable bag does almost nothing to help the health of the planet. But the more times you use the bag, the more positive impact you will have on the world around you.
Plastic Education composed a visual graph compiling their research that shows environmental impacts between the different types of bags. They also looked at how many times you need to use your reusable bag to break even and start decreasing the adverse effects on the environment. For example, if you recently used cotton bags, you should use your reusable bag more than 173 times just to negate the impact the cotton bag had on the environment.
The long story short is this: reusable bags are much better for the environment than disposable bags, but it takes many, many uses of your reusable bag to make up for the negative impact the disposables already had.
Find the Perfect Bag for All of Your Needs!
Making the switch from disposable bags to reusable bags can be challenging. Often it may be a gradual change. As long as you properly plan and prepare for the kinds of bags you’ll need, you will be in good hands. And, of course, the planet will certainly thank you!
Looking for a head start on finding the best reusable bags and gaining the benefits of reusable bags? We have a vast selection of reusable bags made from different materials and in various sizes and styles to suit your every need.
For more information about what kind of bags you should be using, or to get a more in-depth look at our inventory, you can contact our friendly experts online at any time. Feel free to give us a call at (877) 992-2247 to speak with a representative if you have a custom request!