If you're running a grocery or department store, it’s important that you take a look at the type of shopping bags you’re providing your customers. If you’re not offering reusable bags in bulk, for example, you are most likely contributing to the destruction of the environment. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it's really not.
Sadly, shoppers who use plastic grocery bags nearly always improperly discard these bags in the trash, resulting in serious environmental damage in the U.S. and abroad.
How are plastic bags damaging the environment?
It's estimated that roughly one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless other sea animals die each year due to inadvertently ingesting plastic. These aquatic animals often confuse floating plastic bags for edible sea life like plankton and jellyfish, leading to their eventual death.
Here are a few additional ways that discarding plastic bags into the environment is bad for the planet:
- Damage to the soil -- Discarded plastic bags end up in both the ocean and landfills. When the bags wash up on the land, they ruin the soil, making it much less fertile.
- Thousands of years of damage -- A single plastic bag can break into small pieces that will last for up to 1,000 years before dissolving. As those years pass, the plastic particles continue to damage animals and the environment.
- Release of toxic chemicals -- Plastic bags slowly release dangerous chemicals into the air, soil, and water that can significantly harm plants and animals.
According to National Geographic, grocery and department stores use plastic bags because they are much more convenient to use at first, and often don't consider the environmental issues that they are causing.
"The plastic bags are so inexpensive that in the stores no one treats them as worth anything," said Robert Bateman, president of Ropiest Industries, grocery bag manufacturer. "They use two, three, or four [bags] when one would do just as well."
The U.S. alone produces about 100 billion plastic bags each year, as the average person uses between 350 and 500. If grocery stores buy reusable bags in bulk, however, shoppers can start combating these environmental issues. It's time to help the world and stop destroying it. If you want to purchase quality reusable bags in bulk, contact Holden Bags today.