Living Green, One Tip at a Time

Why should we care about a little thing like plastic bags?

  • Plastic bags are made from oil, a non-renewable resource that contributes to global warming. The energy used to produce all the plastic bags that a typical household goes through in a year is enough to light that same house for six full months.
  • When tossed away, it takes between 450 and 1,000 years for plastic bags to break down in a landfill. But plastic never really does degrade completely. It ends up as “plastic dust”, lining our landfills and swallowed up by marine animals.
  • If incinerated, they release harmful toxins such heavy metals (aluminum, lead, chromium, zinc, nickel) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which pose a danger to our health.
    Please!  Consider using cloth, reusable or paper before choosing to use plastic.

The information and image contained in this post were obtained from WWF Canada.


  1. You know, when the facts are broken down like that, it really makes one stop and think before we automatically use plastic bags. I believe you have made a “believer” out of me. I am going to brush the dust from the pile of cloth bags I have!!

    • Pat, that’s really great! I find the cloth bags hold more and are much easier to carry…not to even mention the huge environmental benefit.

  2. Jennifer says:

    It’s horrible to think how something so disposable like a plastic bag could be so damaging to our environment. I have a pile of cloth bags, and they get used all the time. Teaching the kids at a young age to use them is really critical. They get the idea that using cloth bags is “normal”

    • Jennifer, I couldn’t agree more, the time to teach environmental awareness is from a young age and as you say, it just becomes a part of their normal, everyday life.

  3. Shannon Lawrence says:

    I’m all for using cloth shopping bags! Stores are making it a friendlier process, at least around here, so that’s a good sign. I know some places won’t even provide bags, so you have to remember your own or figure something out.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • Shannon, I love cloth bags too, not only are they environmentally friendly…they’re much easier to carry than plastic bags digging into your arms and hands! I think that it’s great some stores don’t provide plastic bags, if more retailers took that stance we would have a lot less plastic in our landfills.
      See you at the A – Z Challenge!

  4. momto8blog says:

    we only use cloth shopping bags. remember to wash them!!!!!

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