Why is it so beneficial to use the reusable bags at retail and grocery stores? It has been calculated that an average family uses about 60 plastic bags for every 4 visits to the grocery store. That’s about 1 million plastic bags used every minute worldwide. This causes a huge pollution problem on the earth. Here are some really great tips about the use of plastic bags:
- Globally, about 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used annually.
- A single plastic bag might need to 1,000 years to degrade, and it remains toxic even after breaks down.
- Fossil plastics represent 12% of the landfill space ( EPA Study on 2006 ).
- The U.S. consumes 100 billion single-use plastic bags, which costs about $4 billion a year.
- In 2008, Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean junk, after cigarette butts.
- About 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floats on every square mile of ocean!
- Plastic bags are among the top two items of debris found most often in coastal cleanups. (Ocean Conservancy)
- More than 3.5 million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were discarded in 2008
So why do we continue to use so many plastic bags when it is not necessary? I admit I use the plastic bags whenever I go to the grocery or to a retail store but I never realized this outrageous number of wasted plastic bags that are being polluted to the environment. I praise the people who do make an effort to purchase the cheap reusable bags and remember to bring them when they go to the grocery. Many stores scan the bags and it helps to add up points on your store card to get more coupons and discounts on items. My mom uses the reusable bags at Kroger and I always thought it was such a hassle to bring them all in and keep using them instead of having the workers pack them all in paper or plastic bags. Then I realized how smart and convenient it is to use the reusable bags. Also, you do not have hundreds of plastic bags hanging around the house going unused.
Kroger has a great number of their customers that use the reusable bag system. Not only do they have the reusable bags to help support the environment, but they also use other tactics to help bring awareness to the pollution problem throughout the country. From getting solar panels in their parking lots, working with EPA on not having a food waste, reducing the use of water at manufacturing plants, to recycling all plastic unused bags. They put forth a huge effort and strive to make the environment healthy by using all natural resources and minimizing wastes. Here is the link to their website which summarizes all the things Kroger does to provide more to the environment.