3 Easy Ways to Cut Out Plastic Bags

It’s no secret that human habits are f**king up this planet. The use of plastic bags is a pretty easy habit to kick, here’s how:


1. Bring your own

Canvas bags are available everywhere. Most major grocery stores sell them at the checkout lane for $1-$5, your favorite brands probably sell them online and it’s become commonplace for brands to hand them out for FREE at events and conventions. Stock up with 5 or 6 and use them for your weekly grocery hauls AND one off purchases.

How to remember your reusable grocery bags:

Car owners: Keep 3-4 in your car at all times. After you empty your bags in the kitchen, fold them up and place your keys on top of them and make sure to grab them on your way out (not just your keys).

Non-car owners: Keep them hanging by the door or where you put your shoes or wallet. When you’re headed to the store grab the amount you need. If you use a daily bag (purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.) fold one or two up and put them in your bag.

2. Ask for Paper

You should really make a habit of #1. But if you forget to bring your own bags every once in awhile, then ask for paper!

3. “No bag, please”

If you’re just running into the market for a few items or picking up a couple things at the pharmacy, do you really need a bag? If you can carry it with two hands then just do the world a favor and say “I don’t need a bag, thank you.”

Facts to convince you to put in the (minimal) extra effort:

  1. 5 trillion plastic bags are produced yearly. Side by side, they can encircle the world 7 times. (The World Counts)
  2. 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually. And….
  3. One in three leatherback sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs. (Center for Biological Diversity)
  4. It takes 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment. (SPREP)
  5. The average time that a plastic bag is used for is… TWELVE MINUTES. (1 Million Women)
  6. The amount of petroleum it takes to produce one plastic bag could drive a car 11 meters. (PADI)
  7. Less than 5 percent of US shoppers use canvas, cotton, or mesh bags.  Please change that number by choosing reusable bags when you shop. (Postconsumers)