It’s no secret that plastic can be extremely harmful to the environment. Since the introduction of plastics bags in 1977, reusable bags have become a great alternative, especially in supermarkets and retail stores. Aside from that, there are a lot of great reasons why people should use eco-friendly reusable bags.
Governments and businesses in various countries around the world are continuously joining hands in educating the people and spreading awareness about the problems caused by plastic bags. As a result, more and more people are switching to reusable bags. Below are the disturbing facts and alarming statistics on plastic bags.
Facts and statistics about plastic bags
- Traditional plastic bags are non-biodegradable and may take 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. They are usually made of polyethylene, a toxic chemical that causes pollution from manufacturing to disposal.
- In the US alone, more than 100 billion plastic bags are being used every year. This requires approximately 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil. However, only 1 percent of them are being returned for recycling.
- An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide per year and the numbers are still rising. On average, a person uses plastic bags for only 12 minutes. However, only 1 out of every 200 plastic bags people use is being recycled.
- Due to being lightweight, plastic bags do not always remain in landfills. Instead, they often flutter in the wind and are stuck in trees, and around 10 percent of them eventually reach the oceans.
- The US government is estimated to be spending to as much as $11 billion every year just for the clean-up of plastic bags in the streets and roadsides, from landfill to litter removal, to trash collection. That is roughly 30 cents per disposed plastic bag.
- According to a study conducted by National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California Santa Barbara, 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic material end up in the oceans every year.
- There is a collection of plastic waste, floating halfway between Hawaii and California, called the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch. Dubbed as world’s largest collection of floating trash, it is more than twice the size of France and now has more than 16 times as much plastic than previously estimated.
Why people should use eco-friendly reusable bags shouldn’t even be a question.
Simply put, the main reason people should be using eco-friendly reusable bags are to help save the environment. As time goes by, there are more advantages of branded reusable bags over plastic bags that are being discovered. Reusable bags manufacturers tend to innovate their products so that they can attract more users. Below are some of them:
- Cost effective. Reusable bags are easy to wash, which mean people can easily clean them when they are already dirty.
- Reusable bags are durable and will rarely tear. Handles are thick and strong. They can be used multiple times before the need to throw them away.
- Because reusable bags are strong, they can hold more weight than plastic bags without people worrying while traveling.
- Things are easier to pack. With reusable bags holding better shape than plastic bags, bagging can now be quicker. Shoppers can also choose from different sizes.
- Reusable bags are easy to fold and take up very little space.
- Comfortable to carry. Unlike plastic bags, most reusable bags have cloth handles instead of sharp handles that can sometimes be painful and cause cut on hands.
- Reusable bags come in various colors and designs. In fact, most of them are stylish and are now considered a fashion accessory.
- Can be used as a great promotional piece and marketing technique. Business owners can promote their products or services by putting their logo and contact information on them.
Today, the use of reusable bags is becoming a good habit that people should practice. Now where more people are supporting a greener environment and becoming more socially conscious, reusable bags are expected to replace plastic bags soon, for good.