February 14, 2023 0

Why Are Reusable Bags Bad for the Environment?

To have a comparable environmental footprint (which encompasses climate change as well as other environmental effects) to plastic bags, a cotton bag potentially has to be used thousands of times.

To give them added strength and durability, reusable bags are often manufactured using more than one material. This can make them harder to recycle, which increases their environmental impact as they must be incinerated or sent to landfills.

Sadly, people buy and then don’t reuse the reusable bags because of the hassle to carry them around and have enough when needed.
More critically, a study out of the United Kingdom found that you’d have to reuse a cotton tote 327 times to achieve the same carbon-usage ratio as using a paper bag seven times, or a plastic bag used twice.

As strange as it sounds, plastic bags have the lightest per-use impact of the various bags the study examined. Cotton totes, on the other hand (in terms of production and distribution) actually have, “the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far” according to the Atlantic.

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