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Using less resources and making less waste is not just something for major corporations and factories to worry about. Every one of us can make a big difference in how we influence the natural world. We can continue to use unnecessarily and generate billions of pounds of waste per year or we can make adjustments and follow a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Plastic bags don’t decompose quickly and lead to environmental degradation. Depending on the climate a plastic bag may take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down. Additionally, the cost of recycling plastic bags outweighs their worth. This is also another reason why most plastic bags find their way to landfill sites.

It’s high time we use alternative sources to reduce the environmental effects of plastic bags. One such move is to completely abandon plastic bags and use reusable bags.

This is an easy way of saving the world that can make it easier for us. Generally, plastic bags are used once and then thrown away which is a waste. We then tear through the entire countryside and fill up landfills, posing a threat to wildlife. It is quick to make the move to reusable shopping bags. Here’s what you need to know about your options to pick the best one for you:

Material

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Polyester or synthetic:

these are the most common materials used for recycling bags. Though not biodegradable, they are derived from natural gas or oil.

Laminated:

Laminated bags are made of laminated polypropylene woven, nonwoven laminated polypropylene or recycled laminated PET. They can be quickly sprayed or cleaned off. Some have matte finishes while others are glossier.

Cotton:

Owing to its toughness this is a perfect choice for a shopping bag. Alternatively, the washing machine can be quickly washed by tossing it in. Organic cotton is healthier for the environment but it can be more costly than natural cotton fibre. Recycled cotton is also an alternative made from recycled / reclaimed cotton after-industry.

Hemp:

Hemp is resistant to drought and thrives without the need for fertilizers or pesticides. One acre of hemp yields between 3 and 6 tons of fiber while needing little water to grow. Hemp fiber is thick, durable and long lasting. It is perfect for making reusable organic containers.

Warm tips

It isn’t always an easy transition from using paper and plastic bags to reusable ones. Here are some suggestions for making the transition flow smoother.

Leave the bags in the car, not the room. If you keep the bags in your room, chances are you’re going to forget them. Keep them in your car, so you can run outside even if you forget to take them to the shop. If you don’t have a car then try to put them in your house somewhere obvious.

Make sure that you have bought enough bags. Grocery trips can range from prepping for an entire party to only grabbing one thing at a time. Be well prepared for either.

Wash them regularly. After a few uses, bacteria can build up so try washing bags every other week.

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