Plastic grocery bags have become a staple of the shopping experience. They are used to contain animal proteins, hold cans, and allow for groceries to be transported from the store to home in a cost-effective manner for the store. This is a clear advantage, but the disadvantage is that these bags are potentially harmful to the environment. Numerous coastal communities are banning these bags because of the harm they can cause to wildlife.
The solution? Reusable grocery bags. Here are the pros and cons in using them.
The Pros of Reusable Grocery Bags
1. They cut down on waste.
Where do plastic garbage bags go? The trash. That means there are millions in landfills right now. Reusable grocery bags can be used multiple times and many of them are made from biodegradable materials.
2. They use fewer fossil fuels.
At the heart of plastic creation is the use of petroleum, refined from fossil fuels. More reusable bags means fewer fossil fuels used to carry things.
3. They hold more items.
It often takes fewer reusable bags to carry groceries when compared to the typical plastic bag. This means fewer trips back and forth when loading and unloading from a grocery trip.
The Cons of Reusable Grocery Bags
1. They cost a lot more.
The average cost of a plastic bag is about $0.01. It may cost $1-$2 for a reusable grocery bag. The cost per use is still lower with the reusable bags, but not everyone can afford the initial investment.
2. They tend to break down at the seams.
Reusable bags are great for produce and boxed items. They aren’t so good for canned goods and heavier items. The quality of the bag relies on how the seams have been put together. Many cheap bags have inferior seams and that means an added cost to the household grocery bill over time.
3. Some still use plastic.
Reusable bags aren’t always made from biodegradable materials. This means one plastic gets traded for another.
The pros and cons of reusable grocery bags show that it could save households in the long run. It can be easy to forget your bags at home or have them break, however, so each advantage and disadvantage must be carefully considered before making this change.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.