Getting into the habit of using coupons to save money can be taken one step further by getting into the habit of using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store! I don’t know about you but plastic shopping bags have a way of multiplying as fast as rabbits in my pantry. It is hard to throw them away knowing what damage they do to our environment. Consider these facts from HelpWildlife.com:
- According to the United States Department of Environmental Protection somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.
- Less than 1% are recycled.
- It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastics bags, which can then be sold on commodities market for only $32.
- Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethelene: a thermoplastic made from oil. Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependance. China will save 32 million barrels of oil a year due it is ban on free plastic bags.
- Plastic bags have been banned in Bangladesh and Rwanda, are taxed in Ireland, must be purchased in China and are either banned or there are proposals to ban them in Israel, Canada Western India, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore.
- San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags.
- Oakland and Boston are considering a ban.
So why not start now? Start a collection of reusable shopping bags of all different colors and styles. This way it will be fun to turn your attention towards a new way of bagging groceries. Keep your collection in the trunk of your car or close by your garage so you remember to bring them!