According to the Greener Footprints website, Canadians consume between nine and fifteen BILLION plastic bags annually. Canada’s plastic bag consumption alone would be enough to circle our planet more than 55 times. Many of us are already aware of the drawbacks from plastic bags use.
- Every piece of plastic ever used since its inception is still in existence, it does not ever totally decompose.
- The plastics we use are ending up in the bloodstream of animals all over the planet. A University of British Columbia study found 93% of beached Northern Fulmars (migratory seabirds related to the albatross) had tummies full of plastic pieces; a substantial increase from testing in 1980.
- “Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of British Columbia.” Link to Ocean Voyages Institute.
- Plastic bags, a product of the petroleum-family, are depleting our fossil fuels at an unsustainable rate. Greener Footprints states that “8.7 plastic bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car one kilometer.”
- The light weight of plastic bags allows them to be easily carried by water and wind, ending up in our oceans, and littering our streets. Plastic bags are not biodegradable (broken down by bacteria in the landfill). Rather they are photodegradable, meaning they are broken down only by exposure to light. It is estimated it will take one thousand years to photodegrade, meaning the bits of plastic will merely break down into smaller more easily digestible pieces for wildlife to eat.
Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself why it we don’t just ban plastic bags altogether. You may have heard that Fort McMurray, Alberta as well as the State of California have passed laws that prevent merchants from providing single-use plastic shopping bags. However, most major metropolitan cities have focused on other priorities and have left this cause up to the individual and their own discernment.
Norwex has a plastic-alternative that can serve a double purpose! Norwex Reusable Produce Bags can be used for everything from fresh produce at the Farmers Market to storing dirty laundry on vacation. Because the bags are machine washable, you can even throw all those dirty socks in the washer right after you get home, or you can rinse your potatoes fresh from the market without even taking them out of the bag! That’s right, I said potatoes. No more doubling up your plastic bags to get your produce home; these mesh bags are lightweight but strong enough to carry whatever your stomach desires.
Additionally, think of all the packaging you’ll be cutting down on by avoiding those aisles in the grocery store. Remember, the grocery items that are ‘good for you’ are generally located around the perimeter of the store, and many will easily fit in these drawstring bags!
Best of all, you won’t have to worry about toxins leaching into your food, as these bags are lead, phthalate and BPA-free. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it? We need to start doing something different – we need to start in our own homes.
If each home owner used three reusable product bags once a week, they’ll save more than 150 plastic bags from being added to the landfill every year!
Delores VandenBoogaard is an Independent Norwex Sales Consultant from Edmonton, Alberta Canada with customers and consultants throughout Canada and the United States including; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, North West Territories and Ontario. She also has customers and team members in; Michigan, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Washington, New Hampshire, Iowa and Maine.