The Urban Dictionary states an eco bag is a reusable bag designed to replace the traditional plastic shopping bag. The trend for the eco bags used for grocery shopping can be traced to European countries, such as the U.K., where plastic shopping bag taxes have driven most people to purchase and use the eco bag on a number of occasions. Similar taxes have been discussed in the U.S., where the environmental issues of plastic grocery bags have come to the fore and led to a greater level of use for eco bags.
- Reducing the release of carbon
As most of us know, the release of carbon from landfills and factories is causing the climate of the world to change in a negative way. This was one of the driving forces behind the decision to introduce the plastic shopping bag tax in the early 21st-century in the U.K. The release of carbon from landfills all over the world is a major concern for scientists and environmentalists who report plastic bags can take between 15 and 1,000 years to decompose. During their decomposition, plastic shopping bags are constantly contributing to the release of carbon into the atmosphere from landfills.
- They look cool
The environmental benefit of using an eco bag to transport your shopping is easy to understand. Another benefit of using an eco bag is the fact they are designed with different logos, colors, and patterns to make them more designer-friendly than traditional plastic bags. You have the option of choosing from a range of designs such as branded tote bags capable of being used many times which reflect your personal style and the brands you love.
- Recycling is easier
Many stores are developing their own reusable bags which are often made from recycled materials to make the eco bag even more environmentally-friendly. Bags can be made from recycled plastics and wine bottles to help reduce the carbon footprint of the individual and stores after the switch to reusable bags has been made. EnviroGadget reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is capable of recycling only five percent of the plastic shopping bags used in the U.S. each year which adds to the millions of bags being thrown away in landfills.
- Reduce the impact on wildlife
In the last few years, environmentalists and wildlife experts have been making the case that we are allowing our planet to drown in a sea of plastic. Reports arrive almost every day of people discovering vast amounts of plastic floating in the oceans which are vital to the survival of our planet and ourselves. The Smithsonian Magazinereported an April 3, 2019 incident when a pregnant sperm whale washed up on the shores of Sardinia, Italy with over 48 pounds of plastic waste in her stomach. During an autopsy on the body of the sperm whale, plastic grocery and shopping bags were found in her stomach alongside a laundry detergent pod still bearing a barcode.
- Easy to store
In the 21st-century, the number of materials available for the eco bag has expanded to take in many different options. Among the most popular are cotton and jute which have a limited environmental impact and are easily recyclable. Another benefit for your eco bag is the easy folding of most bags which take up less space around your home than the traditional plastic grocery bag.
- The eco bag can be reused many times
One of the main benefits of the eco bag is the fact that it can be reused an average of more than 300 times before wearing out. We have all been through the annoyance of a plastic shopping bag made of cheap materials ripping and our groceries ending up all over the floor. The higher quality materials and manufacturing of the eco bag makes it a better option with far more options for using on more than groceries as these bags can be used on many different products for easy storage and transportation.
- A low cost
We have already discussed the damaging effects of plastic shopping bags on the environment and the cost to the wildlife of placing these bags in a landfill. One of the major benefits of a reusable eco bag is the fact they have been created to be affordable for almost everybody with a cost of around $2 or less. Some reports have stated buying a new reusable shopping bag every 500 grocery store visits for $1 would cost the individual just $26 for a lifetime of shopping trips.
- The eco bag is comfortable
One thing we all know well is the discomfort of carrying a plastic grocery bag which is filled with heavy cans or fruits and vegetables. Plastic shopping bags can feel as though they are cutting through your skin and leave marks on hands when you are carrying heavy goods. The use of cotton and jute materials with wider, more comfortable straps changes the shopping experience as a heavy bag is no longer uncomfortable to carry.
- Reduced use of natural resources
The number of natural resources and fossil fuels used each year in the U.S. alone to produce plastic shopping bags is shocking when first discovered. Tern Goods reports the U.S. uses over 12 million barrels of oil to create plastic shopping bags without taking into account the cost of transportation and moving used bags to a landfill. An eco bag can play a major role in reducing your carbon footprint and limiting the number of fossil fuels you are responsible for.
- Feel good about yourself
This may be a selfish reason, but by switching to the eco bag instead of using traditional plastic shopping bags you will feel good about helping the environment. When you make the move to using an eco bag you could save as many as 22,000 plastic shopping bags over the course of your lifetime. What could feel better than knowing you are doing your bit to help limit the environmental damage done each year by single-use plastic bags released into landfills and the oceans every day.