Why Paper Bags Aren’t As Eco-Friendly As You May Think

Benefits of using reusable grocery bags

How have you worked recycling into your day-to-day life? This can seem like a tricky thing to get the hang of, especially when you have so many other good and bad habits muscling for your attention at any given point in time. Do you try to recycle the newspaper? How about getting rid of old clothes in your closet? If you want an eco-friendly habit that will stick with you no matter where you go, you’ll want to consider wine totes. These can be brought to the store, onto the bus and even to your children’s soccer practice.

What’s the damage being done to our environment? Let’s start with wildlife. It’s estimated one million birds and 100,000 turtles die every single year just from eating plastic. These animals often eat creatures like jellyfish and plankton, both of which look rather similar to floating bags and chunks of plastic left to drift in the ocean’s waters. Plastic bags, in particular, make up over 10% of washed-up debris that pollutes miles of American coastline. As you can see, there are already some keen benefits of using reusable grocery bags.

It’s thought that one person using reusable bags and wine totes over the course of their lifetime could remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Now that’s progress everyone can get behind. The United States is a very active and industrial country that uses a collective 100 billion plastic bags every year, meaning your small effort could go a long way when it comes to helping animal life and plant life breathe easier. But what else can wine totes do?

Even paper bags aren’t as green as we were led to believe. Most paper comes from tree pulp, so the impact of paper bag production on forests is still an enormous strain that sees entire areas dwindling down to nearly nothing. Back in 1999 over 14 million trees were cut to produce over 10 billion paper grocery bags used in just that year. Next time you see a recycle symbol on a paper bag? Think about all the trees and manual labor that goes into making just one portable method that will be tossed in a matter of minutes.

Landfills are a massive environmental hazard and something that needs to be reduced as soon as possible to keep everyone healthy. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to properly degrade and, even then, they don’t biodegrade. They instead photo-degrade, breaking down into smaller toxic pieces that still end up in our oceans or otherwise hearty soils. According to an illuminating study provided by the EPA, the average American school lunch creates over 60 pounds of trash every year. This is over four billion pounds of waste that could be avoided.

When you use custom reusable bags, you do your part to help out humanity at large. You create a cleaner environment for animals to live in, you reduce the yearly impact on forests and you even support smaller and less toxic landfills. For those that want to look fashionable, just check out the hundreds of fun styles wine totes come in. If you take the bus and need something to keep your cold food cold? Try insulated bags. There have always been better options available…it’s just a matter of developing a new habit that is guaranteed to stick.

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