Sustainability Tip 60: Reuse Your Bags

woman carrying reusable net bag with camera and other items in, as well as a bouquet of flowers

Everyone knows that plastic bags are bad for the environment, polluting the planet and posing a severe threat to marine life. Yet, most of us are still guilty of using them, at least on occasion.

 

So why, and how, can we stop for good? First, let’s talk a little about their impact.

 

It’s easy to forget that all plastic starts out as fossil fuels, and it might shock you to find out it only takes around 14 plastic bags to make up the amount of gas required to drive a mile.

 

There’s also the harm they cause to wildlife. Plastic bags are responsible for the death of around 100,000 animals a year, including birds, sea turtles, and fish, who mistake them for food.

 

On top of that, microplastics (the tiny pieces that plastic breaks down into) are also consumed by people through their food as it makes its way up the food chain or even breathed in through the air.

 

In fact, it’s estimated that the average person consumes about a credit card’s worth of plastic every single week. This, of course, can severely impact our health.

 

The worst part, however, is that the fossil fuel industry actually plans to increase plastic production by 40% over the next decade.

 

All of this is terrible, but convenience often still wins out, which is likely why 5 trillion of them are still used every week.

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Just like people get stuck on the convenience of plastic bags, the positives of taking an action are often more important to us than the negative effects it has (especially if we can’t directly see them).

 

So, why not think of all the positives to using reusable instead?

 

Firstly, and the most obvious, is that they are much sturdier, stronger, and definitely won’t spill your shopping all over the floor. They often have better handles, too, meaning you can carry heavy loads without the aching hands or shoulders.

 

Reusable bags are also cheaper in the long run. Did you know, at a 5p charge, the average person spends £650 just on plastic bags in their lifetime? That’s a lot of potential money you can save simply by switching.

 

You can save space in your drawer, too, since you only need a few reusable bags, and they’re often designed to fold down to take up less room. That’s a huge benefit over keeping a jumble of 50 plastic bags shoved somewhere nobody can see them.

 

Not to mention, reusable bags are so much more versatile than plastic. They can be used for your food shop, yes, but also as a gym bag, handbag, or even just a fashion accessory.

 

Plus, using it for everything is more sustainable, and you’ll never forget it at home either!

 

Considering all of these benefits to you personally as well as to the planet, there’s no reason not to choose reusable, and that’s why we’d like to introduce Turtle Bags.

Turtle Bags was an early pioneer of sustainable living, established way back in 2002 to raise awareness of the hazards of plastic bags and to offer alternatives. They have even been featured as a business case study in a UN report on innovative alternatives to plastic.

 

Turtle Bags work with Fair Trade partners who share their environmental values to supply the eco-friendly bags. Inspired by turtles, they serve as a practical reminder that plastic never goes away.

 

On top of their own environmental efforts, they also have a long-standing partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, donating 10% of their profits to them.

 

Their range includes bags to suit every need, from produce bags to jute bags, string bags and even recycled cement bags. They also sell starter kits if you can’t decide or simply need them all!

 

To save some money (on top of the money you’re saving not buying plastic), you can use discount code GREENTURTLE15 for 15% on the Turtle Bags shop.

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