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Alternatives to Plastic Bags
Plastic pollution is a severe problem for the planet. Even though plastic bags are easy to produce, the menace they create is forcing more people to look for alternatives that are just as good as plastic bags without the negative effects.
To put the damage plastic bags cause to the environment into perspective, here are the statistics in numbers.
Finding an alternative to plastic shopping bags not only reduces the uptake of plastic bags but also cuts the number of bags being disposed of and consequently the effects they cause to the environment.
Why not also read: How to Recycle Plastic?
Finding the right type of alternative for plastic bags might be an uphill struggle for some people. But, the truth is, there are several options that are just as good and kinder to the environment.
- Plastic bags that end up in the ocean cause the deaths of up to 1 million seabirds.
- Plastic bags in the ocean also cause the deaths of up to 100,000 marine mammals each year.
- It takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade fully.
- There are over 46,000 plastic pieces found in every square mile of ocean.
Top 5 Alternatives To Using Plastic Bags
Paper bags are 100% more biodegradable compared to plastic bags. They are also recyclable and reusable. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, paper bags can withstand more if not the same amount of pressure or weight than plastic bags.
Paper bags come in two colours. The most commonly used is brown which is used for shopping. The white variety is less used but ideal for commercial applications like branding for companies and brands. Other than shopping, the bags can also be used as merchandise bags, lunch bags and wine bags.
Jute bags are probably the oldest and most formidable alternative to plastic bags. Hessian bags are also known to have high strength and incredible longevity compared to other options like cotton bags.
Why not also read: 10 Reasons Why We Should Recycle
Like cotton bags, Jute is also a naturally renewable source. However, it’s not as expensive to farm and requires minimal care to grow. It is biodegradable and compostable.
Even before being made into bags, jute plants present plenty of benefits to the environment. They soak up greenhouse CO2.
The bags are inexpensive and are easily biodegradable. They are not the only kind to your pockets but also the environment.
Canvas bags are made of cotton. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and happen to be more durable.
Compared to cotton bags, canvas bags are lighter in weight and more cost-effective. In addition, canvas bags can be washed regularly so you can use them as many times as you want and for more applications.
The best thing about canvas bags is you can also make them at home. All you need is some DIY knowledge and you can design and make your bag.
Cotton bags are preferred because of how biodegradable and reusable they are. The fact that they are made from natural and renewable sources is also a plus. Cotton is more expensive to produce the bags are not as strong but, even with the slight concerns, cotton bags still make a great alternative to plastic bags.
If you prefer to go old school, basket bags are also a great alternative with endless functional life. They have a rustic appeal, and for some people, they are an ideal alternative which is why they have remained relevant over the years.
Whether you’re looking to save the planet or merely reduce landfill, these five options will provide you with alternatives that will not take away from the functionality and convenience that plastic bags offer. However, you have to make sure you consider a variety of factors like portability when choosing which option will work best for you.