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Krista Stucchio

It’s Time to Stop Using Plastic Bags

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

While many people are on board with the reusable straw trend, there’s still an alarming amount of people that use plastic bags when shopping. Some people even *gasp* double bag. I understand that some people simply don’t care or like the convenience of a single use bag, but there are also a lot of people that haven’t considered the environmental impact. Here are three reasons why you should ditch the plastic bag. 

You can’t recycle plastic bags

If you throw plastic bags in regular recycling bins, they will end up in a landfill or in the ocean. I recently found out that they have to be dropped off at places like grocery stores that have bag recycling boxes. It has been estimated that plastic bags can take anywhere from 10 to 10,000 years to break down. Even if they only take 10 years, the rate at which we are currently using plastic bags is overwhelming and is making a major impact on the environment and how much waste we can store. 

It encourages companies to supply more single-use plastic bags

In a capitalist society, every item you purchase is a vote to continue producing that item. Every time you take a plastic bag at Target, you are telling Target that their consumers like plastic bags. Companies will respond to the demands of their consumers. We can already see this happening as many stores have given their customers discounts for not using plastic bags and some even charge their customers for them.

There are SO many alternatives

My personal favorite is the Baggu because it’s small enough to keep in my purse, but stores everywhere are selling their own reusable bags. If I forget to bring a bag, I can usually just carry the items out with me. I personally feel that 30 seconds of being uncomfortable as I walk to my car is worth it, but you can also ask for a paper bag.

Becoming more environmentally friendly takes a little bit of thought and preparation, but it is really important. Don’t get discouraged by thinking one person can’t make a difference because leading by example will inspire more people to follow suit!