How Switching to Reusable Bags can Save the Planet and your Business

28th August 2018 in Green

How Switching to Reusable Bags can Save the Planet and your Business

We are all aware of the 5p plastic bag charge which has been credited with reducing the use of plastic bags by 86% since 2015, meaning most shoppers now rely on reusable bags. A huge win for humanity!

Figures showed customers bought almost a quarter fewer single-use plastic bags last year compared to the year before, a decline of 300 million bags- equivalent to 19 bags per person compared to 140 bags since the scheme was introduced.

Supermarkets and retailers that employ more than 250 people will soon be doubling their price for single use bags, charging customers 10p per plastic single-use bags.

This fee increase comes after government discussions over the environmental benefits that come with further reducing our plastic consumption. Campaigners in favour of the 10p charge reminded the public that each plastic bag purchased takes 1,000 years to break down, creating excess litter that are highly visible, using environmentally harmful resource to manufacture and extremely damaging to wildlife. Up to 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles and many other sea animals die annually from taking in plastic bags. Animals can confuse floating bags with sea life to eat, such as plankton and jellyfish, other animals fall victim to drowning after they are entangled in plastic bags. Single-use bags have shown up as far away as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Survey reports.

What happens to the money raised by the scheme?

The plastic bag charge is not a tax, and therefore does not go to the Government. Retailers and supermarkets are given the choice what to do with the proceeds, but they are expected to give it to good cause

Are paper bags less harmful than plastic?

In the short term, yes. They are bio degradable, however nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper, representing about 35 percent of all harvested trees, so the energy it takes to produce paper bags is almost more devastating on the environment than plastic.

The solution?

Reusable bags make a lot of environmental and economic sense. Buying reusable bags made from sustainable crops such as bamboo or jute can help farmers and textile workers to support themselves and their families. In less developed nations, especially, demand for reusable bags can offer a valuable new revenue stream. Reusable shopping bags protect our wildlife, increase recycling rates as single plastic bags are not normally recyclable, but many reusable bags are, so they can be turned back into something useful at the end of their life instead of going to landfill and clean up oceans and parks as plastic bags are so lightweight, the wind easily blows them out of trashcans, refuse trucks and landfill sites to litter the landscape. If we replace them with reusable bags, our surroundings will gradually become clean and beautiful once again.

So what are you waiting for?

Make the switch to reusable bags today and show your customers and clients you’re committed to a green policy which is becoming increasingly important for businesses. We offer thousands of Eco friendly alternatives for your promotional products. From recycled plastic, reclaimed wood, reused cotton we have enough Eco promotional gifts to restock your whole office!

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