Eliminate Plastic Bag Litter: Bring Your Own Bag!

posted 11/16/2016

Plastic Bags Everywhere You Look

How many plastic bags found a new home with you last week? The average American family brings home a staggering 1,500 plastic bags a year (Natural Resources Defense Council). The use of plastic bags has steadily increased since the 1970s, becoming synonymous with shopping for any and everything. And plastic bags are taking a toll. In fact, they’re one of the most visible signs of pollution there is, extending across the entire planet. Not to mention that it takes natural resources to manufacture plastic bags and millions, upon millions of them wind up in landfills. So how does one realistically stop contributing to the plastic bag dilemma? The answer is so simple… Bring Your Own Bag!

Bring Your Own Bag!

  • You can find reusable bags for less than $5, but be sure to choose bags that are manufactured in a responsible way. Good choices are hemp, recycled or organic cotton, recycled PET (plastic bottles) or bamboo.
  • Be resourceful! Use a backpack! Granted, it does limit the amount of items you can buy, but for short trips, it is perfect!
  • Get creative! Do you have extra t-shirts lying around? Or some extra fabric? Customize your bag by making it yourself. You’ll get double sustainability points by reusing something to make a reusable shopping bag.
  • You’ll save time and money, plus the bags are much more substantial and can often carry double or even triple the amount of groceries as that of a plastic bag.
  • Like breaking any habit, reducing your dependence on plastic bags will take some getting used to. But with a little patience and effort, you can make the switch.

Remember Your Bag!

Easily the biggest hindrance to using reusable bags is remembering to take them with you. But there are a few tricks you can use to integrate it into your daily shopping routine. Keep a stash in a memorable place. Whether it’s your car, below the kitchen sink, next to the car keys, wherever, just identify a place and stick with it. Keep a bag in your purse for small shopping sprees, so it’s always on hand.  

Be Sure to Wash Your Bag

Being “green” doesn’t mean you have to be dirty. Wash your bags once a week if used for food. Some bags can be thrown in with the laundry, while others will have to be washed by hand. 

Tell a Friend 

Let’s be honest. You switching to reusable bags is not going to change the world. But if you can convince your friends and family and they, in turn, can convince their friends… you can see where this is going!

New MWA Billboards

Be on the lookout for the new Metro Waste Authority digital billboards promoting “Bring Your Own Bag!” located on 63rd Street just south of Grand, I-235 at Euclid Avenue and Merle Hay Road at Douglas Avenue.

For safe, smart disposal and recycling options, visit www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021.