Five Tips On Reducing Plastic Bag Use

1a0dc6f3d26f48483a207a2ba99e4ec1.jpgIf you have heard of the environmental impact of plastic bags, then you know how much harm they can cause. In the late 1970’s, according to bagmonster.com, the “Paper or Plastic” wars began. The plastic bag was introduced to the supermarket industry, and were beginning to overtake the paper bags. Did you know that the World Economic Forum says oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050? If you recently saw the images of sea turtles that have died from ocean pollution, it’s heartbreaking. Every year, more than 100,00 marine mammals die every year after ingesting or becoming entangled in ocean pollution, ingestion or entanglement in waste.

Sea turtles and other marine creatures mistake plastics for food (such as jellyfish) and ingest it. This mistake causes blockages within their digestive system and eventual death. In Huffington Post, it states Some 240,000 plastic bags are used globally every 10 seconds, according to the Sierra Club, and fewer than 5 percent are recycled…the average American now uses 300 to 700 plastic bags per year.There are small ways in which we can use less plastic over time. It could be buying products that aren’t over packaged with plastic. Raising awareness of the affects of plastic on the environment, or bringing your own reusable bags when purchasing from stores.

Bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket. Most supermarkets sell their own reusable bags, or you can bring your own. I like to bring a school bag, a side bag and a large handbag to fit most of my groceries without needing to use a plastic bag. This means that instead of using up to 6 plastic bags to put all my groceries in, I can limit it to 1-2 plastic bag for my bin liner.

Buy less items with over-packaging. Whenever possible, look for produce and other items that aren’t over-packaged. There are many products and companies that have good ethics, but make sure they are not simply green washing. Using less plastic over time, also allows companies to realise that many consumers are not willing to support over packaging and use of plastic.

Reuse and recycle plastic bags. There will still be weeks where I will have a plastic bag to carry, and store it in the cupboard. A great way to use the spare plastic bags is to reuse or recycle them.You can use them as rubbish bag liners, donate them or use them as storage.

Don’t buy bottled water and carry a reusable drink bottle. Try drinking water from home, boiling it or keeping it cool in the fridge. Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches. You’ll save money, as bottled water can be expensive and really add up over time.

Create awareness of the importance of recycling. It’s good to educate and raise awareness to others why recycling is important. It’s easy for many people to forget, and simply toss all the rubbish into one bag. If we encourage everyone to recycle, we become more conscious of the difference we can make through small actions.

5 thoughts on “Five Tips On Reducing Plastic Bag Use

  1. I thought reusable grocery bags would be hard to get used to, but those things are amazing! They hold so much, and I never have ripped bags with stuff falling out into my driveway like with the plastic! On the off chance that I do end up with plastic bags, I keep them and use them as packing cushioning for shipping or Christmas decorations.

    1. Yes, they really are. I find you can use them 300 times, and you would save 300 plastic bags :) That’s a great way to reuse the plastic bags. Thanks for sharing with me!

  2. The topic of this post happens to be particularly relevant to where I live right now (Peru). Northern areas of my country were hit by heavy rain and floods recently, and reading about other places being so drastically affected by climate change really shook me to my senses.
    Recycling is one of the best and easiest things that everyone can do, and not only when disasters strike. Thanks for this post!

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, I hope the weather is gradually settling down there. Yes, very true! Recycling is a small action that can make a big impact.

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