This is a sponsored post about why reusable shopping bags are important. Please see the disclosure page for more information.
Have you heard of the grocery store Aldi?
Oh how I love this store. Long time shopper here. It’s a smallish store with one of most any grocery item you can think of but most is Aldi brand. For the most part I don’t care about brand names except when it comes to things like Oreos.
A quirky thing about Aldi is you’ll need a quarter to get a cart. Don’t worry you get the quarter back when you put your cart up. Money motivates.
Also you will need to bring your own grocery bags or pay for any you want to buy. When I forget my reusable shopping bags I usually just pickup empty boxes that haven’t been removed from shelves yet. I do prefer having my reusable shopping bags though.
Aldi was way ahead of its time when it comes to conservation and also saving the store some coin. Now that more and more people are being made aware of the dire consequences that pollution can have, more and more people appreciate reusable shopping bags. Myself included.
Did you know this…
“ Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.“
It’s hard to believe that on average we use 1500 plastic shopping bags per year. That averages to about 4 plastic bags per day. Some days I don’t shop at all and some days when I get groceries I come home with 15-20 bags. Especially since there’s not an Aldi in the town I live in now and always forget reusable shopping bags.
Here’s another tidbit of information that estimates only 1% bags recycled each year. So out of 100 billion bags, only about 1 billion bags are recycled. Where in the world are all these bags going? 80% of plastic pollution in the ocean is from land whether it gets into rivers and flows that way, wind, carelessness near the oceans or whatever.
It affects 250+ different sea creatures. Sea turtles are especially hit hard since they love eating jelly fish. Mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish makes sense and I’m not even a turtle. LOL “One in three leatherback sea turtles have plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag, based on a study of over 370 autopsies.”
Grrrr! The more I research this the more I’m all about not using plastic shopping bags any more. And guess what paper isn’t much better. The biodegradable time for the paper bags isn’t that great a couple centuries. Plus, the energy wasted creating these bags and trees harvested.
See why reusable shopping bags are a great idea?! (Hmmm, I’m also telling myself this btw.)
Don’t forget that “it only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile.” Yep, that’s right. The petroleum needed to make 14 plastic bags could go toward the equivalent of the gas to go 1 mile. And if 100 billion plastic bags are wasted each year, that means instead we could have had 7.1 billion miles to drive more on the petroleum we were already using. BILLION PEOPLE.
An estimated 143 billion gallons of gas is used per year in the US. Let’s estimate that the average miles per gallon for all the US cars is 20 miles/gallon. If petroleum used to create 14 bags is equivalent to the gas require to drive one mile, then 280 bags is equivalent the gas required to drive 20 miles. That means 280 bags/gallon.
Awesome. Stay with me.
So if there are 100 billion bags used each year, why don’t we figure out a way to convert these back to gas??? That would mean 357 million gallons of gas. Ok, I know that’s a drop in the bucket. But what about all the other plastic that is being used like packaging for just about every thing! Food, toys, clothing, nails, soap, candles, bedding, electronics. See where I’m going with this. Why has no one figured this out? Come on chemical engineers!!! LOL (Don’t look at me I flunked the one and only ChemE class I took. LOL)
Seriously, this information is just a small view of why plastic is making the headlines lately. I’m sure you heard of Richard Branson finding plastic at the bottom of the great blue sink hole in the ocean. This information is also a great reminder (to me too) of why reusable shopping bags are important.