When thinking of single use plastic bags, you might not consider the ocean or see the connection to our oceans. Sadly, they are ruining our oceans.
Sea turtles like this guy pictured eat them because they think they are jelly fish. Just this year several whales have washed up dead with pounds of plastic in their stomachs. Dolphins and sea birds can get tangled in them. When I heard this, I was confused. I don’t throw plastic bags into the ocean so how did so many end up there? Plastic bags are so light weight they blow from the landfills into the water when being transported. Even the bags that do make it to the landfills will take a thousand years for it to breakdown and it is toxic to the earth.
So if you plan to make one change to make a difference, try giving up plastic bags.
- Tote and String bags: These two black ones from Eco Bags are great for grocery shopping since they don’t contain any plastic. It is advised to keep plastic away from food since there are mixed results on how it can effect our food over time and that you need to keep them clean. See care section below.
- Canvas bags: The canvas bags featured here are ones I have collected over time and hold up well for heavier items.
- Compact bags: These bags came with my Tieks flats and I love to take them with me in my purse. Others have suggested Chico bags that are similar. They fold up into the black ball you see in the photo. This way I don’t get caught without a bag somewhere.
- The best bag is the one you will reuse: Whatever bag you choose to use needs to be one you will actually use. So pick something that you know will work for you.
- Don’t over do it: It can be tempting to purchase a ton of bags, get what you need and no more. That way you can be sure you like the bags you have now purchased. Start to add them to your routine and if you need to purchase more you can. The goal is less waste!
Reusable Bag Care
Make sure you are keeping your bags clean, especially if you are using them to carry food. Most you can machine wash, but if you do have plastic (those typically grocery store ones, even if they look like cloth) can shed some of the plastic into the water adding to the plastic contamination.
What do I do with my current single use plastic bags?
If you have a collection of these single use plastic bags stored like most people, you can take them to your local grocery store to put in the bag recycle bin. You can also use them for waste in your own household for doggie bags or lining garbage bags (something that weighs them down) until they run out. The goal is not to ADD to this collection, and only use up what you might already have.