Everyone is familiar with the question, "paper or plastic?" at the end of their grocery shopping trip. Going with paper has been the "greener" option for years, but it's time to get even "greener;" it's time to choose reusable grocery bags. The facts are in, and most consumers know that plastic is the worst choice. Plastic takes forever to decompose, and when it finally does it breaks down into small toxic particles. Not only that, it's responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals every year who try to eat it or get caught in it. The list goes on and on. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. The benefits of reusable bags should have you thinking twice about ever asking for paper or plastic again.
The website ecomyths.org interviewed Northwestern University’s Eric Masanet, PhD, about the paper vs. plastic debate and he stated, “The science shows that moving from plastic to paper is not necessarily ‘greener. Instead, it may simply shift the environmental impact from decreasing litter to increasing resource use and greenhouse gas emissions."
The website and Mr. Masanet both agree that a reusable bag is the best choice one can make for the environment. Think about the trees that are needed for paper bags and the number of trucks being used to transport them. Paper bags also require more material per bag in the manufacturing process, meaning greater consumption of raw materials and greater energy and fuel use in the manufacturing and transport.
Reusable bags are a fantastic option for the environment and a multi-purpose item for you! They don't have to be used for groceries alone, use them to transport laundry, kids items, or for a day trip to the coast or a picnic! Reusable bags are sturdy and have strong handles so there is no worry about ripping or tearing them after a couple of uses. And not to get too superficial, but, reusable bags are way better looking than any plastic or paper bag. You can even go online and look for custom reusable grocery bags that you can design yourself!
It's time to make the question, "paper and plastic?" a thing of the past. The greener, more practical and efficient option is a reusable bag. Whether you're an eco-warrior, budding fashionista, or someone who wants to make a difference for our children and our planet, skip the paper or plastic, go reusable!