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Goodbye Plastic, Hello Reusable

May 1, 2011

This week, KOMU 8’s Allyson Bird shows us just how easy it is to use reusable bags.  In the last few years, it seems like there has been a big push for reusable grocery bags.  You can buy them at many stores and they are available in many different patterns and sizes.  Some supermarkets even give you a (small) discount when you use a reusable bag.

Despite the stylish appeal and clear benefits to the environment, people still aren’t using them as much as you might think.  Many people use the excuse, “I left my reusable bag at home.”  But why not keep them in your car at all times?  Even using one bag will help the environment.  One reusable bag can fit up five times the groceries as a plastic bag!  Imagine how many plastic bags could be prevented from being used from making the switch to reusable bags.  Mother nature would definitely be thankful.

  • Every year, 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used cross the world, and it can take 20 to 1,000 days for one plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. They remain toxic after they break down.  Those numbers mean about one million plastic bags are used every minute.
  • The average family uses about 15 plastic bags after one trip to the grocery store.  If they brought their own reusable bags, they would only use three or four.
  • Only one half to three percent of plastic bags are thrown away.
  • The United States goes through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, costing stores about $4 billion a year.

The next time you head to the store and the cashier asks if you want to buy a reusable bag for 99 cents, consider saying yes and leaving the bag in your car.  Not only will it be easier to carry all your groceries inside, but let’s face it, the Earth needs it.  It’s the little things that add up that make such a huge impact on the environment.

** These facts come from ReuseIt **

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