At the Peach, we work hard on being as eco-conscious as we can. We recycle whenever possible, limit our use of plastic and disposable products, and research goods that promote sustainable and responsible practices (more on that later). So, when we heard about the new plan to cut down on shopping bags in an effort to be less wasteful, we were excited to learn more about being part of the solution rather than the problem.
In case you are unfamiliar with the ordinance, here’s a little information to catch you up to speed. Basically, Oak Park created a new plan to charge Oak Park shoppers 10 cents per single-use bag requested, paper, plastic or otherwise. The ordinance is expected to go into effect July 1 for participating businesses.
So, if the ordinance isn’t enough to convince you to go reusable, we’ve compiled some compelling facts about plastic bags and paper bags that we think are excellent reasons for you to pick up a reusable bag and make the next bag you throw out your last.
- One plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down, depending on environment.
- An estimated one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless other sea animals die each year from ingesting plastic.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, roughly 2% of plastic bags are recycled in the United States. The rest are left to live on indefinitely in landfills or decompose in our oceans, where they leech toxins into the water and soil.
- Plastic bags make up more than 10% of washed-up debris that pollutes the U.S. coastline.
- Plastic bags are made from petroleum products and natural gas, both non-renewable resources, and their manufacture helps to drive up gas prices.
- Think paper bags are better? Think again. The U.S. cuts down 14 million trees a year to supply the raw material to make paper shopping bags.
- It takes 13% more energy to make a single paper bag than to make two plastic bags.
- Paper bags weigh almost ten times as much as plastic ones, meaning that more fuel is required to ship them to stores.
- In landfills, paper bags create more than twice as much atmospheric waste as plastic ones do, so they’re not necessarily a better choice for the environment.
- The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags.
- One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Isn’t that an even better incentive?
We believe sustainability starts at home and that everyone should stand up for the environment. With that said, we carry a heavy-duty, multipurpose French string bag. They are 100% cotton, made in France (of course!) and are machine washable (bonus!). At 17 inches tall and 24 inches wide, you can fit an enormous amount of goodies in this sack! In fact, Emily Schuman, of the popular blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, just featured this net bag, in her find of the week post. Oui, oui!
We also carry a quite functional yet stylish monogram tote. If you haven’t seen this bag in store, it’s a natural and black canvas tote which features a black embroidered initial. It’s a classic carryall and is perfectly suited for the mall, office, beach, sailing and all your everyday travels/adventures.
We would love if you would stop in the Peach and pick up one of these nondisposable satchels and let the world know you care.
What do you think about the new ordinance? Do you already use reusable bags, and if so a favorite one to recommend?