Learning about your environment can be eye-opening when it comes to the ways that our daily decisions lead to pollution and environmental impact. For example, the simple use of plastic bags for your groceries can lead to a lot of pollution of the world’s oceans and danger for the marine life, not to mention rapidly filling landfills and the challenges they introduce for our environment.

Half the Plastic We Use is Used Once
It is scary to think that it requires enough petroleum to power a vehicle for one mile to make 15 plastic bags. Those bags are only used once, and then they are discarded. Meanwhile, that petroleum has been used, which means less to put toward creating fuel for transportation use.

Past generations had a lot of success with using items over and over and minimizing the impact on our environment. It is time to bring these practices back to common acceptance, rather than focus on the quick and easy alternative that has long-term consequences.

Each Person Uses More Plastic Than You Think
The average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic each year. That is a lot of plastic to use on an annual basis. That means your decisions on storage for sandwiches or grocery transportation is having a very long-term effect on our environment.

Grocery Bags Make a Huge Impact
There are more than one million bags used each minute, which translates to 500 billion bags used worldwide each year. That is a lot of plastic for single use bags, which then take up space in landfills or become a hazard for turtles, whales and other living species in the oceans. These bags are regularly found in animals that live in the ocean all of their life, as they are light enough to wash into the ocean regularly.

Oceans are Filled with Plastic Debris
From Los Angeles, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments are washed into the Pacific Ocean Every DAY. This greatly endangers the living species within the water, and that plastic is typically pieces of straws, plastic bags and other single use plastic items. This means the decision to use these in your kitchen or support the fast food industry is a direct connection to the pollution we see in our oceans currently.

Centuries in the Landfill is Worth Some Attention
Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, yet they take 500 YEARS to degrade in a landfill. This is a drastic difference between the efficient use of a product and the long-term period needed for it to stop being a detriment to the environment.

In recognition of all of these influences on the environment, the choice to skip the single-use plastic bags and invest in full color bags that look great, can convey things about your preferences and personality and happen to save the environment at the same time make them a valuable investment.

The choice to use reusable bags for groceries, lunch transportation and even storage within the home is the better approach when you consider how bad for the environment the regular use of these bags happens to be.