Before you accept another plastic bag to carry your groceries, check this out… Plastic bags can take upwards of 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. Since plastic bags photodegrade instead of biodegrade, they decompose into tiny toxic pieces that typically find their way into oceans. On top of simple refuse piles, they cause bioaccumulation throughout the food chain. This could come back to affect humanity in a big way. The least we can do is carry our food with reusable grocery bags.
How To Flip A System On its Head
Nothing is too big to fail. Not a corporation, not an ingrained ideology of waste, not a delicately balanced ecosystem, nothing. Not even the heat that comes from the sun will last forever. To take on the plastic bag industry, however, it's going to take effort. It might seem insurmountable now, but here is a big and small way we can change how people shop for groceries.
- Wholesale Reusable Bags
The more people are exposed to the idea that plastic bags harm the environment in ways that will affect them, the more they will want to have a reusable shopping bag. That's where grocery stores come into play. If every grocery store sold their own custom reusable bags for a low price, then more people would buy them.
That's not enough to drive mainstream adoption though. Suppose, to incentivize shoppers, a grocery store started charging per plastic bag used. It could be a small fee that wouldn't upset customers, but rather nudge them in the right direction. Many supermarkets have already implemented a program like this and can access wholesale reusable bags for very little money.
- Own A Reusable Bag
Again, the more people see reusable bags, the better. When someone asks you where you got your reusable bag, tell them, but also tell them why you have one.
When it comes to changing a tired old system, you need both innovators and people who adopt the innovation into their lives. To take us out of the murky depths of dirty oceans and a polluted planet, we need everybody to work together, companies and consumers, to achieve our goals. Plastic bags are the past, reusable bags are the way forward.