You may not be aware, but in the United States, we are using bags all the time! There are the bags we get at the grocery store, the ones we pack lunches in, the ones other retail items come in and everything that is packaged by the manufacturer. Inevitably we could all end up, literally, buried under the pile of bags that we collect in a life time. And what a waste that would be! The good news is that most of those bags come from recycled products and with any luck, in the recycle process, will return to the start and be recycled into bags that we will use again and again.
But what should the average American consumer do when those bags start to pile up? It doesn’t take long for the pile to start to form, maybe two or three big trips to the grocery store, and you could end up with 15 or more bags per visit. What are some of the ways we can keep the build up of plastic bags to a minimum?
It there are cats in your house those left over bags from the grocery store come in handy when cleaning out the litter box. Just having the bags around when you have to touch something you really don’t want to. By having the bags, in hand, the actual touching of the item is no longer an issue and it will help with germs being passed from cat litter box to human, which can cause all kinds of illnesses.
People can reuse the bags as lunch bags, rather than the old way of using a new “brown bag” for lunch carrying purposes. It may not seem like a great effort but each and every effort, no matter how little, is having an impact.
Another way to cut down on the recycling in the area of shopping is to have a designated bag that can be used over and over again for the groceries. Totally eliminating the need for the plastic bag is a huge step toward progress when it comes to recycling. There are companies that sell bags for this purpose and some of them are made from organic materials and even have sayings on them like, “Nothing on me is plastic,” and my personal favorite, “I’m not an old bag!” I love the companies that make bags like these because they can do it with flair. Some of the recycled bags come in a rainbow of neon colors that are, to say the least, eye catching, as well as reusable! Canvas totes can be thrown into a washing machine and will serve for many, many trips to pick up bread and milk.
The bottom line is becoming aware of what we use and how such items can be reused. No matter where you shop or what buys you make, if, at the end of the day you’re surrounded by plastic bags, there’s always a way to get more use out of them.