Did you know that we use 100 billion plastic bags every single year? It’s hard to imagine what that amount of plastic trash even looks like, but we can tell you what happens to it. First, most of our plastic trash ends up in landfills. From there, it makes its way to our oceans where it becomes a life or death problem for the ocean’s inhabitants. It’s easy for animals who eat jellyfish to mistake floating plastic bags for their prey of choice and animals like sea lions, seals, and otters run the risk of becoming tangled. On top of that, 800 marine species are at risk of extinction because of plastic. It’s a tough fact to face, but luckily, it’s easily resolved by swapping plastic bags for reusable shopping bags.
We all know we should bring our own bags but, sometimes, things like this happen… It’s not your usual grocery shopping day, but you need to just stop by the store to pick up a few things. When you get to the register, the cashier asks “paper or plastic?” and that’s when the realization hits you — you left your reusable grocery shopping bag at home! Yeah, we’ve all been there before. Insulated bags are great for planned shopping trips, but for emergencies, it’s good to have something that will always be in your backpack, purse, or briefcase. Thankfully, we don’t have to suffer the eco-embarrassment of resorting to choosing a single-use bag because there are reusable bags out there that can carry your groceries and fold up to the size of a wallet when not in use.
1. BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Bag
Looking for a reusable tote that can double as a fashionable accessory? This BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Tote is strong enough to hold up to 50 pounds worth of groceries and it comes in multiple styles, so you can choose your perfect pattern. If you prefer something you can stash in your bag for emergency shopping trips, BAGGU totes easily fold into a compact pouch. You can pick up this bag from Amazon for $9.00 and feel stylish and eco-friendly at the same time.
2. ChicoBag Vita Compactable Reusable Shopping Tote/Grocery Bag with Pouch
Maybe you’re the type who always forgets their reusable shopping bag. If so, this ChicoBag Vita Compactable Reusable Shopping Tote will be your best friend for all your shopping trips. Each bag comes stuffed in a little pouch with an attached carabiner clip — so can just clip it onto your backpack, suitcase, or purse and never again have to feel guilty about being asked “paper or plastic” because it’ll always be with you. It can hold up to 40 pounds, is washable, and comes in a rainbow of colors at the price of $10.31 each on Amazon.
3. BMC 3-Piece Mixed Design Foldable Wallet Style Reusable Nylon Shopping Tote Bags
Love to accessorize with patterns? Then you’ll fall in love with these BMC 3-Piece Mixed Design Foldable Wallet Style Reusable Nylon Shopping Tote Bags. Each durable, washable bag is 16×14.5 inches and comes with an exterior pocket, so you can use it to hold your keys, wallet, and phone while you shop. Plus, it comes with a zippable wallet-style bag that you can store your bag in when not in use or you can use it for coupons, makeup, as a wallet … Whatever your heart desires! You can pick up this set of three differently patterned bags for $16.10.
Now that you know about some of your options, you can take your pick and never again have to worry about forgetting your tote at home. You’ll be doing the oceans (and your conscience) a big favor. For more tips on how to live a more environmentally friendly life, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.