Reusable Bags

Paper bags and Plastic bags both require different resources to be manufactured and they both have different impacts on the environment. According to the City of Fort Lauderdale, plastic bags use 70% less energy to be manufactured than paper bags. However, plastic bags once manufactured, can last for hundreds of years without decomposing, while paper bags last much less. Both have a negative impact on the environment and both are designed and made to be used once.  If the bag gets lucky, it gets used a second time as a bathroom trash bin liner. #WhatAlife.

So instead of creating a demand for something that will only be used once or twice and will have a negative impact to our environment, I want to challenge you to create a demand for something that can be used multiple times. Reusable bags are the most obvious and accessible replacement for plastic and paper bags. They can be used multiple times and can carry more items per bag than any plastic or paper bag. And if the items are heavy, there is no need to double bag it, like in the case of plastic and paper bags.

The best choice is to replace both plastic and paper bags with cloth reusable bags.

  • They tend to last longer
  • They can be easily washed by just throwing them in the washing machine with other clothes
  • If they are made of 100% organic cotton they can even be disposed of in the compost bin after many grocery trips

But like I said I want to challenge you to think outside the box, or better yet, outside the bag. Use as a reusable bag something you already have. A backpack, a hamper liner, or no bag at all. There have been times when I forget the reusable bags in the car. I just load all the groceries back into the shopping cart, and pack them in one or two reusable bags once I get back to my car.

You can even use the promotional reusable bags they give away in the conferences, it is not 100% organic cotton, but it is still a better impact on the planet, and less plastic bags going to the landfill.

The average person uses approximately 365 bags per year, according to National Geographic. And again, those 365 bags consumed this year, will not be sent to the manufacturer to be recycled and replaced 365 bags for next year. Every year the average person consumes an additional 365 plastic bags.
The state of Florida requires grocery stores that provide plastic bags, to also provide a bin to collect them and send them to a specialized recycling center.

With all this said, leaving 2 to 3 reusable bags in the car, to have them available when doing groceries can be a small step in a better direction.

In order to void using single-use plastic bags I have used:

  • Cloth reusable bags
  • Conference tote bags
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Backpack
  • No container at all

What other alternative to single-use plastic bags could you use?


Today’s Featured Photographer: Mel Poole

5 thoughts on “Reusable Bags

  1. Cloth reusable bags are great. It’s just a matter of making them a habit. I sewed my own and use them all the time. They can even be made from recycled material from worn-out clothes or items.


    1. I agree. When I decided to stop using plastic bags, I started by using the tote bags that I collected over the years in technical conferences, and as they break I am now replacing them with cloth bags.

      Before you switch to reusable bags, how many plastic bags do you think you were using?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do the same at supermaket… “Sorry i dont need bags, thanks”. They already know me. At least around of 600 plastic bags less by my side this year. Im letting 60 just in case.


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