Why Plastic Alternatives Matter
The original discovery and invention of plastic for easy to use storage and containers was revolutionary. But, like many things, the true effects of it being used by the millions of Earth’s inhabitants could truly have never been known Who knew that plastic bottle holders would deform animals. No one planned for a straw to get stuck up a turtle’s nose. Who could have imagined that plastic would never truly go away. But just like with cigarettes, now we know the true cost of plastic, and it’s pretty bad. Plastic alternatives are popping up everywhere. A lot of them actually existed before plastic became popular, but plastic became the easy option. It’s time to think beyond the “easy right now” option and make a change in our habits. It’s time to made old world habits new & popular again in America.
- “Plastic bags and petroleum are intrinsically linked. About 8% to 10% of our total oil supply goes to making plastic. It is estimated that about 12 million barrels of oil a year are used in making the plastic bags used in the US.
- An average American throws away about 10 bags a week. That’s 520 bags a year–a fuel equivalent of 60 miles of driving. In total, the US throws away an estimated 100 billion plastic bags annually. When you look at it from the perspective of families and individuals, it’s another way that little actions create big impacts.” source – 1 bag at a time
- “Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free bag. Even though you don’t see a separate fee for bags in most places, you are still paying for them in lots of ways.Retailers pay 2 to 5 cents per bag. This adds up–day after day, year after year. Estimates by the Anacostia Watershed Society figures the average Marylander takes 750 bags a year, at an estimated cost of $15 to $37.50 a year. This cost is passed on to consumers through higher prices on other items, like pasta, produce, and dairy products, making it a “hidden” cost.” source – 1 bag at a time
- Many people responsibly dispose of their bags, but even when disposed of properly, they can pose a threat. Dioxin and other toxins can leach out of landfills, further contaminating waterways and oceans. source – 1 bag at a time
- Habitat destruction, fossil fuel emissions, and plastic pollution are some of the ways that plastic bags and climate change cannot be separated. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture the 30 million plastic bags that Americans use each year. That is equivalent to the amount of oil in our Strategic Oil Reserve. When used for bags, it is a wasteful and unnecessary way to deplete our oil supply and contribute to CO2 build-up in our atmosphere. source – 1 bag at a time
- An estimated 100,000 marine animals die each year from suffocating on or ingesting bags. source – 1 bag at a time
16 Reusable Shopping Bags – Plastic Alternatives
If you’re looking for stylish shopping bags, Baggu offers reusable bags that have the same shape as plastic shopping bags in several prints and colors.
Earthwise sells several style and prints of bags, and you can even customize the look of your reusable bag! They are great for bulk bag orders.
4) Biobags USA
Tell your local retailers about Biobags! If you’re a retail store, consider using them! They are compostable bags for retail stores and commercial settings. Biobags makes shopping bags in different sizes, and they also make produce bags.
Customize one of the sleek and sturdy Apolis market bags to make every shopping trip like a fashion runway!
Ecobags offers several types of reusable bags – from recycled cotton totes to natural fiber bags sets, including produce bags. They also sell “Chicobags,” which can be folded into a tiny carrying pouch for easy storage and carrying.
Bagito originals collapse into a small carrying pouch, but they offer more than just that one style! They also sell large collapsable bags, reusable can liners, produce bags, and even garment bags!
The Envirosax website immediately proclaims that “Green is the New Black,” so you know you’re going to get a super stylish bag with them. Their bags are really pretty, and can last up to 5 years, saving the world from up to 5,000 disposable, toxic, plastic shopping bags.
These durable bags can easily go from your grocery shopping trip to your hiking excursion! If you could use a tote that can survive multiple rugged trips, be it to the store or to the mountains, these are a great selection.
The signaturare “Live Sustainably” calligraphy bag is great for a regular bag to carry your essential products in, or a quick shopping trip. Sustainable Bags also sells a kit for kids to decorate their own reusable bag. It’s a great way to show your Tiny Green Earthling how to be green! Their organic hemp market bag, available in Bloomingdales, is perfect for shopping!
11) Nature Bag
Nature Bag totes are made from “JungleVine®,” a natural material that doesn’t require cultivation, irrigation, or chemicals to grow. It is gathered and made into bags by Khmu artisans. Shop Nature Bag for several different styles of bags, purses, and household products, like scouring pads, all made from the unique “JungleVine®!”
12) Chico Bag
Chico Bag offers 6 different styles of shopping bags amongst their array of different reusable bags!
13) Urbana Sacs
These bags are sustainably made from washable paper ?! How crazy is that? They
14) Simple Ecology
Simple Ecology sells several different sets of reusable shopping bags, reusable produce bags, and sets that include both. They also offer other reusable kitchen accessories to avoid single use plastics.
Made from the vinyl of billboard signs, the Rareform Basic Tote makes a perfect day bag and quick shopping trip bag. They also offer several other styles of bags and accessories that are fashionable.
Junes offers 5 styles of breathable bags, and various sizes of produce bags. They are super stylish and can hold anything!
17) Aldi Shopping Cart Bags
I saw Aldi shopping cart bags recently, but haven’t been able to find much about them online. A review by This Mum At Home let me know that they’re real and sold in stores (possibly outside of the US only), but currently sold out. I’ll have to do more research on them and report back to you!
18) Colony Co.
These bags look like real paper shopping bags, but they are made from waxed canvas. Colony Co. also offers cute waxed canvas “paper” lunch bags, breathable cotton mesh produce bags, and reusable bulk bin bags.
This cute brand promotes slow and ethical fashion, and has a “Farmer’s Market Shopping Set” launching soon! The 14 piece, 100% organic cotton set includes various sizes of mesh produce bags, large canvas totes with interior pockets (perfect for mason jars), and other styles of shopping bags.
There are so many more brands in America and across the world that make reusable bags. You can also make your own, or use some that you’ve gotten from different events or stores. Which bags are you going to use to help in the worldwide fight against plastic pollution? Let me know which one you’re thinking of getting, or what bags you already have!
xoxo dolls & dudes,