Benefits of Using Reusable Shopping Bags

Immediate and Unexpected Benefits of Replacing Single Use Plastics with Reusables

We all have that space tucked away in our house reserved for unwanted plastic bags. Yes, they may come in handy, but there’s also a hesitation there to throw them away immediately after receiving them (The average person uses a plastic bag for only 12 minutes before discarding it).

Rather than collecting an abundance of single use plastic bags that are not only inconvenient, but harmful to the environment and costly, try using a reusable shopping bag. There are plenty of benefits to investing a reusable bag. Listed here are some of the most advantageous benefits to using a reusable shopping bag.

1. Save Money
Using reusable bags over plastic bags can save money in several areas – Including your own pocket.

Many stores are beginning to impose an extra charge for plastic bags. By bringing your own reusable bag, you are saving money each time you go to the grocery store, buy a new outfit, or run errands. Many stores, if they don’t charge for plastic, are offering an incentive for bringing your own bag. So either way you look at it, you’re saving money on each purchase.

2. Save Resources—And Therefore, Money

Plastic bags are non-biodegradable, use crude oil and natural gas to manufacture, and require even more fossil fuels to ship.

By using a reusable bag, you are not only reducing the amount of non-renewable resources necessary to produce plastic bags, but you’re also reducing the amount of money your community spends on clean up costs each year.

Regardless of how you dispose of plastic bags, they end up blowing onto the street, clogging waterways, and infiltrating other natural environments. Not only is this an eyesore, but it also costs money to clean up.

The state of California spends $25 million to send plastic bags to the landfill each year. And that doesn’t include the $8.5 million spent on removing plastic bags from the streets. By using reusable bags, you are reducing the amount of taxpayer money that goes into litter clean up, leaving room for other community funded projects.

3. De-clutter Your House and Save Space

Plastic bags take up a lot of room and often clutter your household, car, and workspace. Think about it: If you take home 5 grocery bags worth of food a week, that comes out to 260 bags a year. And that’s only on groceries. Those plastic bags end up cluttering your kitchen cabinets, your pantry, and your car; wasting space for other, more important things other than trash that we can’t seem to part with.

Though larger than a plastic grocery bag, reusable bags can fold up and end up taking up significantly less space than your guilty storage of plastic bags. And as opposed to the 20 to 50 plastic bags floating around your house, you’ll have maybe three or four reusable bags to take their place.

4. Durability and Reliability

Unlike the flimsy plastic bag you receive from retailers, reusable bags are durable and can carry more at a time. Go ahead, fill up that cotton or hard plastic bag to the brim—it won’t break. That means less trips to and from your car and more to be comfortably carried at a time.

Their durability also prevents them from ripping or tearing. Say goodbye to spilled groceries, multiple trips, and double bagging.

And because they are reliable, you can use them for multiple purposes. Personally, I use my reusable totes for lesson plans, groceries, beach bags, and even as a purse. There are infinite uses to these convenient and packable bags.

5. Peace of Mind

Not only will you create more space in your home, but you’ll have peace of mind. Plastic bags are one of the top ten most common objects found in oceans and on beaches. An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year, and they’re ending up in oceans, soils, animals, and rivers. 

Believe me, you’ll feel so much better once you stop accidentally collecting unnecessary plastic bags. Whether you’re aware of your consumption patterns or not, as you begin to see the waste disappear, you’ll feel it, and it feels great.