Paper, Plastic, or Canvas?

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“Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide—more than a million per minute.”

A million plastic bags per minute?! Holy cannoli … and it gets worse:

“In the Pacific Ocean, there is a floating morass of plastic garbage that is twice the size of Texas and growing daily. Hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine mammals die every year after eating discarded plastic bags they mistake for food.”

Twice the size of Texas, have you seen Texas?! It’s massive! Those poor animals, our trash is invading their world.

Why aren’t more people using reusable bags? I bought them and I think they’re great. I keep them in my car so they’re always ready for a grocery run. They hold so many more groceries than the average plastic bag. Plus it’s a workout carrying them back to my car; it’s great for my biceps. When I get home and unload the bags, I immediately put them back in the car in case the urge to go shopping hits me the next time I go out.

Purchasing the bags didn’t take much convincing. My local Shop Rite pays me five cents per bag every time I use them. So not only am I helping the environment but I’m getting paid to do it. Even my boyfriend carries canvas.

Now that the trend of using canvas bags has grown, some grocery stores have decided they no longer want to offer this cash back bonus. Are you kidding me?! I went through the self checkout recently and asked the clerk, “how do I get credit for my bags?” He politely informed me they no longer do that. Another store told me I would be put into a drawing to win a prize, big whoop.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is two to five cents per bag really going to bring the grocery store to bankruptcy? Wouldn’t it look better for their image to show their support of the environment? Doesn’t it save them money in the long run when less customers need plastic bags at checkout? The stores encourage you to buy the canvas bags on the way out of the store, but they don’t seem to want to encourage you to use them.

Regardless of those evil (not that I’m judging) stores, I’m a proud canvas bag carrier. The only downside I’ve found is that I’m running out of plastic bags to collect dog poo when I take the pooch for his W-A-L-K.

If you do end up using plastic bags now and then, be sure to recycle them. Many grocery stores now collect plastic bags for recycling. When I have an excess of plastic bags, I take them to my local thrift store.

My future projection is that it’s only a matter of time before stores begin charging extra if you need a bag. You may as well get in the habit of using canvas now. 


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