How many times have you run into a grocery store, bought one or two thing and paid for them to put them in a plastic bag? I used to do it. I had an entire section of my kitchen dedicated to the storage of these plastic bags. Apart from the fact that these plastic bags are not great for the environment, it is incredibly wasteful to get a bag every time you buy a loaf of bread that is already in a bag.
A couple of years ago we started switching to reusable bags. It has taken some time, not because our intention waivered or because we had no reuseable bags but because it was habit to just get a plastic bag. Often I wouldn’t even realise I had taken one.
We are now more prepared and we now almost never have plastic bags in the house. It really is not a hard switch to make. All of the big supermarket outlets offer you reusable bags. Fruit and Veg now only sell brown paper bags. It is not that hard!
I have a set of reusable bags in my car and in David’s car and on those days I forget to take them in with me, I still say no to the bag. I repack my trolley/basket and then unpack it directly into my car. It really is not hard.
There have been a few times I have had to be really firm with the person packing my groceries, especially if I don’t have a bag. I ran in to grab some sanitary towels a few weeks ago, just ONE pack of sanitary towels. The lady packing asked if I wanted a bag, I said no. She started packing it anyway, I again said I don’t want one. She told me I can not walk around with my pack of sanitary pads on show. I still politely declined the plastic bag. Not only because it was plastic but because it was wasteful and I don’t want to add more unnecessary stuff to my home.
It may not seem like a big deal refusing a plastic bag, I mean it is just a plastic bag right?
But how much do you know about the simple plastic bag? Do you know what effect it has on the environment?
Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world.
The amount of petroleum it takes to produce one plastic bag could drive a car 11 metres.
A plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes.
267 different species of animals have been affected by marine debris.
Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most found in coastal clean-ups.
Think about these points. We use a plastic bag for an average of 12 minutes but it’s effects last for years.
Apart from this, bringing home plastic bags every time you buy something is unnecessary is bringing additional “stuff” into your home that you don’t need.