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It's Not 'Reusable' If You Don't Reuse It

September 29, 2011 15:11 by Brandon

I recently read an article on Mother Nature Network (MMN)'s Web site that got me thinking.  The post pointed out the fact that as more stores pass out reusable bags, the more we as consumers accumulate.  Pretty soon, we're all going to have a collection of recyclable bags that go unused.

What happens to all those extra bags? According to MMN, these customized totes end up creating a big environmental problem of their own.  The truth of the matter is that the reusable totes are not currently being reused enough to have a significant impact.  "A nonwoven polypropylene bag, for example, would have to be used ... 11 times to make up for the negative effects of a plastic bag used one time," reports MMN. But people aren't using their free bags that much.

So how can we prevent reusable bags from becoming another form of waste?  MMN offers the following tips:

1.  If you've got enough totes, don't accept any more.  "Just like we politely decline the free paper or plastic bags at checkout, we need to start politely declining a free reusable bag that we know we’ll never use again," advises MMN.

2.  Only give out high quality promotional tote bags that will actually be used.  Motivators offers the best reusable totes, ensuring recipients will want to (and be able to) use them again and again.

3.  Encourage your representative to place a ban on disposable bags, such as paper and plastic bags, so that consumers begin to use their reusable bags instead.  This will help decrease the use of and dependency on plastic bags.

What will you do to help prevent a reusable bag surplus?


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