After I wrote my post "The Future of Grocery Shopping", I became curious who else is working on either charging for plastic grocery bags or banning them. Below is a list of cities and countries that are working on this issue...
*San Francisco, California ~ the first US city to ban plastic bags
*Los Angeles, California
*Oakland & Portland, Oregon
*Ireland ~ began taxing bags in 2002, thus reducing plastic bag consumption by 90%
*Rwanda ~ banned plastic bags in 2005
(It's sad that there are more countries who are making this change than there are US cities doing so.)
A few companies that have taken the initiative to switch from plastic/paper to reusable bags...
*Ikea ~ they charge for each bag that you use. Their "giant" bags are awesome! We have one that we're using as a cover for Violet's tricycle, protecting it from the rain while stored on our patio.
*Whole Foods ~ stopped using plastic bags as of Earth Day (April 22)
*Durango Natural Foods ~ a store I plan to stop by on our next trip to Colorado.
*Nature's Oasis Natural Foods Market ~ another must-stop in Colorado.
*Krogers, HEB, Randalls, Fiesta and even Wal-Mart are starting to sell their own reusable grocery bags in the hopes of encouraging more people to buy them.
A few important facts...
Plastic bags are made from polyethylene, a thermoplastic made from oil. We would reduce our foreign oil dependency by reducing the amount of plastic bags we make and use. China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban on free plastic bags. Just imagine the difference it would make in the US if we did the same!
Just a few numbers to consider...
If we all just used one reusable bag we can save 6 plastic bags a week. That's 24 bags a month, which makes 288 bags a year, which turns into 22,176 bags in an average lifetime. If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this, we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags in our lifetime. Consumer bags consumed nationwide: 200 Billion (as of writing this post) and counting!
And let's not forget the plastic produce bags folks! These are just as dangerous to our environment as the plastic grocery bags. And, just as there are alternatives to the plastic grocery bags, there are alternatives to our usual plastic produce bags. You can purchase both of the pictured bags at reusable bags.com.
A great site to shop for reusable grocery bags is reusable bags.com (a new site I found). I'm particularly fond of the Super Strong Cotton Messenger Shopping Bag. I'm thinking that would make an awesome tote for our pool items, not to mention all the groceries it will hold.
Okay, now that I've given you even more information regarding plastic bags, I'll step off my soap box (for now).