GreenStamp Eco Products Blog

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The Eco Friendly Shopping Bag Paradox

   Jan 29

The Eco Friendly Shopping Bag Paradox

Plastic shopping bags have been a blight on the environment for many years. Each year, millions of plastic bags are thrown away, ending up on landfills and causing environmental problems. Because plastic bags don’t degrade, they linger for years and cause severe environmental problems.

Plastic bags get into waterways, causing a hazard to waterfowl and fish, they clog up drainage systems, which causes flooding and they wash out to sea where they linger for decades, endangering marine wildlife.

Nearly everywhere you look, plastic bags litter the countryside, and it’s no wonder there has been a big effort in recent years to curb their use.

Some bags for life are made from recycled materials such as old plastic bottles

Reusable Shopping Bags

One solution in recent years has been the move by supermarkets to supply thicker, more durable plastic bags with the intention that they can be reused. However, while shoppers reuse three quarters of these bags, these reusable shopping bags are actually making the problem worse.

Firstly, because reusable shopping bags are thicker and contain more plastic they require more energy to produce. According to the UK’s Environment Agency, these bags would need to be reused dozens of times to offset the higher carbon emission in their production. And few people reuse these bags that amount of times.

Second, while reusable shopping bags are made from the same material than normal plastic carriers, they are thicker and take even longer to degrade. As a result, they are becoming even more of a hazard to the environment than the thinner bags they were meant to replace.

Cotton bag for life

Bag for Life

A far better way of curbing the blight of plastic carrier bags is using a rugged and environmentally friendly bag for life. Various manufacturers make these eco friendly shopping bags, which can be reused hundreds of times. Furthermore, as they are made from environmental materials such as cotton or canvas, they are far kinder to the environment even if they get thrown away. Most of these materials are biodegradable so don’t linger in the environment and cause the same hazards that plastic carriers cause.




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