Have you ever wondered what the impact of using reusable bags in the grocery store is and do we make a difference when we do? We wondered the same so we've looked into it for you.
Producing 1 plastic bag has a tiny environmental impact but when a lot of us, use a lot of it, this is where the biggest problem lie. A study in the UK showed that it's not enough to switch to a reusable bag. The key is to actually re-use that bag to a certain number of times to at least offset the resources used to create it. This study looked into the different type of commonly used re-usable bags and did a LCA (Life Cycle Analysis). An LCA is a method used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product through its whole life cycle from extraction reaw materials, manufacturing, use, recycling and final end of life (disposal)
There are 3 major types of re-usable bags and the number of times you should use it to be able to 'breakeven' with the resources used to make it:
Brown paper bags need to be used at least 4x to be considered environmentally friendly but most paper bags are not durable enough to be re-used
The most common reusable bag that you would typically get at the supermarket.
Cotton takes a huge toll on the environment when produced. So you have to use it more than 173 times for it to be environmentally friendly.
The aim here is to exceed as much as possible these bags to be able to help reduce waste and the use of resources as much as possible. The fewer re-usable bags you own and the more frequent you re-use them, the better for our environment. So yes, re-using your grocery bag does have a positive impact. The more you re-use the same bag, the bigger your impact will be. Keep on going and share this.