Weekly Tip – Pack A Reusable Shopping Bag

Do You Carry A Reusable Shopping Bag?

Have you ever thought about carrying a reusable shopping bag?

The first step of sustainable change is education, and through that, empowerment to make a change.

Whilst it may not seem like the most exciting topic, so many people ‘mean’ to carry a reusable shopping bag, but so few do.

So, to help you become more conscious of the impact of everyday things and signpost sustainable alternatives, our weekly tip is just for you.

Read on to find out the impact of shopping bags and why and when they became unsustainable.

As ever we look at some sustainable alternatives and save you some money should you wish to make a simple, sustainable switch.

Reduce Repair Regive

When Did Shopping Bags Stop Being Sustainable?

Bags to carry produce have been used since stone age times but it is with the onset of consumerism and the industrial revolution that they became mass-produced.

Initially, bags were made from natural materials and as society developed and consumerism grew, bags were cloth-based and reusable.

By 1965, the one-piece plastic shopping bag was patented by the Swedish company Celloplast.

Following this invention, the plastic bag quickly replaced cloth bags in Europe and soon the rest of the world.

They gained popularity because they were cheaper and lighter than cloth bags as well as being disposable.

However, as the use of plastic bags increased, environmental issues started to surface.

The issue of single-use and disposable plastic has become a global priority and the use of such products is no longer sustainable.

Shopping Bag - A copy of a 5000 year old bag found in a bog in Ireland
A copy of a 5000 year old bag found in a bog in Ireland

The Environmental Impact Of Shopping Bags

Single-use plastic shopping bags have a significant impact on the environment and 5 trillion are produced worldwide annually.

These bags are made from petroleum, a finite resource, and can take hundreds of years to decompose.

They also contribute to plastic pollution, which is a growing problem in oceans and on land.

It is estimated that 100 billion plastic bags are discarded in the United States each year, with only 1% of these bags being recycled.

Plastic bags have a devastating effect on wildlife.

They are frequently mistaken for food by marine animals, resulting in starvation and death.

As well as this, birds can become entangled in plastic and starve as a result of plastic pollution.

In addition to harming wildlife, plastic bags can also have a negative impact on human health.

Shopping Bag - Only 1% of discarded plastic bags are recycled in the US
Only 1% of discarded plastic bags are recycled in the US

When plastic bags end up in landfills, as they break down, they leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water.

This can pose health risks.

Such is the issue that it has been estimated that 77% of people have up to a credit card’s worth of plastic in their bodies!

How to Make Your Painting Sustainable

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to shopping bags.

To reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastic shopping bags, many countries have implemented plastic bag bans or fees.

According to the UK government, since the plastic bag charge was introduced in 2015, usage at the main retailers has dropped 97%.

The charge was increased again in 2021 and this resulted in a further drop.

To be more sustainable yourself, always start with reuse.

That means reusing what is already in your home. Most people have used carrier bags at home.

Why not pop a couple in your work bag and a couple in your car so you always have access to bags and never need a new one?

You can also look at reusable bags.

If you want to look at a reusable bag, Play It Green has done some research, so you don’t have to.

Shopping bag - Since the plastic bag charge was launched usage has dropped in main reailers by 97%
Since the plastic bag charge was launched usage has dropped in main reailers by 97%

Some Of Our Favourite Reusable Shopping Bags

Bag Of Ethics Shopping Bags

We love Bag Of Ethics Mathilda Cabanas Peace For Ukraine natural cotton sustainable shopping bag.

The bag is made by a 90% female workforce in Pondicherry India and the cotton it is made up from is 100% sustainably farmed.

Not only that, but this hardwearing bag is completely biodegradable so once you have used it over 5000+ times it is good for, simply compost!

Part of the proceeds of the bag sale will go to the Red Cross Appeal for Ukraine.

It has been designed in association with French designer, Mathilde Cabanas.

Shopping Bag - Bag Of Ethics Mathilda Cabanas Peace For Ukraine Reusable Shopping Bag
Bag Of Ethics Peace For Ukraine Shopping Bag

Kind Bag Shopping Bags

Kind Bag’s Love is Love medium reusable bag is one of our favourites.

It is made from 6 recycled plastic bottles destined for our oceans and is also 100% recyclable.

The bag is good for loads up to 20kg, can fit at least two bags of shopping in and has wide arms ensuring a comfortable fit around the shoulders.

Best of all, when not in use it folds up into a tiny pouch which can fit in a pocket or handbag.

If you sign up for Kind Bag’s newsletter and you can receive 10% off your first order.

Shopping Bag - Kind Bag’s Love is Love medium reusable bag
Kind Bag’s Love is Love medium reusable bag

Herd Shopping Bags

Last but not least is Herd and their Dolce Vita 100 Medium Tote.

Made with 16 recycled plastic bottles, every purchase also funds the clean-up of 1kg of ocean-bound plastic.

Not only that but it is delivered in 100% recycled packaging.

Once your bag reaches its end of life, Herd will take it back and recycle it into another bag.

We love the design of Herd’s Dolce Vita bag which is reminiscent of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.

To save some money on making a sustainable change, sign up for Herd’s newsletter today and receive 15% off your first order.

Shopping Bag - Herd Dolce Vita Medium Tote
Herd Dolce Vita Medium Tote

That's all folks!

That’s it for this week – sustainable shopping bags investigated and hopefully, you have learned something new!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please use our contact form or send an email to info@playitgreen.com.

Enjoy the rest of your day and next time you need something, please try and think sustainably.

Play It Green

Play It Green is a subscription service that helps people and businesses to take a journey of sustainability.

Through our 3-step solution, we support footprint reduction, repairing the planet (through reforestation) and increasing social impact by regiving 10% of turnover to charity.

That’s a lot of positive impact for £5 per person per month and more value than a coffee and a piece of cake!

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