Single-use plastics have become a major topic for people looking to be more environmentally conscious in their everyday lives, and it has also become a focus for many governments around the world. In Canada, single-use plastics like grocery bags are going to be phased out in the coming years, a plan that other countries have considered or are undergoing as well. But how bad are grocery bags for the environment and is it enough that we should consider alternatives like reusable canvas grocery bags?
Here are a few facts about the impact plastic bags have on our environment and how canvas grocery bags can help you be more environmentally conscious in your lifestyle.
Fact #1: We Use Too Many Plastic Bags
When we say that plastic bags use a lot of oil, we mean a truly staggering amount. In the United States alone, people use over 380 billion plastic bags in a single year. That is over 1000 bags per person per year! To get to that number, Americans on average use three plastic bags every single day.
That statistic is only in the United States alone. In a world that should be looking at how it can reduce its plastic consumption, that number can be brought down substantially by a simple lifestyle change from relying on single-use plastic bags to reusable canvas grocery bags.
Fact #2: Plastic Bags Use a Lot of Oil
Since plastic is made from oil, all of these bags have to be made from barrel oil. The global environmental impact of the oil and gas industry is both well-documented and hotly contested by professionals within the industry. Regardless, the number of bags used in the United States alone for a single year amounts to 12 million barrels of oil. That is enough oil to fill the Goodyear blimp 332 times!
That is also the raw oil required to make the plastic bags, not the other things, like water and electricity, that goes into the manufacture and distribution of these bags. In short, we are using too much of a non-renewable energy on things that get used once. Instead, we should focus on using bags that can be reused, like canvas grocery bags.
Fact #3: Plastic Bags are Destroying our Oceans
This is important even if you do not live anywhere near the ocean because many bags from all over end up there anyways. When plastic bags eventually do start to break down, they end up getting into rivers and streams and heading out into the ocean. There, they can create gyres: giant whirlpools of plastic that are extremely harmful to animals. In some places in the ocean today, there is 46 times more plastic than available food. Plastic bags also contribute to over 100,000 marine animal deaths every year.
The environmental impact of plastic bags is undeniable, which is why we should be looking to alternatives like reusable canvas grocery bags. Organic Cotton Mart has a wide selection of bags that, when used regularly, can help you reduce your environmental impact and help save the world.