The Time is NOW for Reusable Bags

Reusable bags by andrewarchy via flickr

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Why Use Reusable Bags?

With 40% of annual retail sales happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my guess is that a similar percentage of disposable plastic bags are being let loose into our system during that time as well. That makes it a good time of year to get on my reusable bag bandwagon. If you need convincing, here are a few hard facts about plastic bags from the folks at Factory Direct Promos:
  • An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed each year worldwide – this works out to over 1 million bags per minute.
  • A million sea birds and 100,000 animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles and seals die from plastic bags and other waste each year.
  • Americans throw away about 1 billion plastic bags a year, which is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.
  • Retail businesses spend about $4 billion each year on plastic bags.
  • In the United States only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 was recycled.
  • The United Nations Environment Program estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.
Maybe your city or community is ahead of the game and has already instituted a plastic bag ban or bag fees (check this interactive Plastic Bag Ban Map for ban activity in your area). Here in Minnesota plastic bags are still going strong (except for yard waste where we have to use compostable bags).

A Few Favorite Reusable Bags

My reusable bags have been out in full swing lately for gift shopping, grocery shopping and everything in between. Here are a few in my rotation: Baggu – These super roomy, workhorse bags (shown in photo at top of post) fold up nice and small. Buy the set of 3 which comes with a zippered pouch to store them in. Esse clip it bagEsse – I’ve been praising their Carry All Tote for years but the new handy Clip It bag made from recycled bottles can be clipped to a keychain, backpack or stroller so it’s with you whenever you need it. Bb begonia bagsBB Begonia – Big enough to hold 2 grocery bags but stylish enough to carry around town. Empty bag rolls up easily to fit in your purse. What’s your favorite reusable bag? Postsiggie4 copy This post is part of the Give the gift of a Plastic-Free World This Holiday and Join the Plastic Bag Ban Movement! blog carnival, hosted by Factory Direct Promos. Check it out for more info about banning plastic bags. (Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Any purchase you make contributes a small amount to this blog. Thank you!) (Top photo credit: andrewarchy via flickr)


  1. Love the title of this post because you are so right! With the Holidays upon us, we see bags everywhere. My mom brought me a gift she had purchased for my daughter and she had it wrapped in 4 plastic bags! There is no better time to use one of your choices above, you cannot see through them so they are great for hiding gifts, and to take a look at the progress that has been made worldwide on the plastic bag ban front. Thanks so much for sharing the message to go reusable!
    FDP, CMO

  2. We use only reusable bags, but most are the ones that are given out free from retailers. I wonder how eco-friendly those things are? At least I’m sure it’s better than using and discarding the flimsy plastic bags.


  3. Maria Smith says:

    Yes. This is one of my commitments for the New Year. My green cleaning
    service gave me one as a gift, which was thoughtful. There are some very cute reusable bags, which makes it even more appealing. 🙂

  4. I am from India and plastic carry bags have become a bane of our country (and a bane of our beautiful planet). In our family we use a ” no stitch cloth carry bag” ( which can be made in a few minutes ) when we go shopping. This is called Furoshiki in Japan and you can read about this at my blog below.

    I agree with you . We all need to stop using the flimsy plastic carry bag which is trashing our planet.


  5. We should use reusable bags instead of plastic bags to save our earth and human life.Nowadays reusable bags are available in different colors and designs to make your shopping more stylish.

  6. Washington, DC passed a reusable bag law in 2009 (The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act, aka the Bag Law). People quickly adopted the habit of carrying their own bags (or paying 5 cents per bag in grocery stores), the stores have evidently not been much inconvenienced, and local conservation groups are observing far less plastic bag waste in the Abacostia River waterways. Yea! Read more here:

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