Can you really do it? “Cloth bags instead of cops” must be reused at least 7,100 times.

Recently, the news agency CNN Emphasizes the solution to environmentally friendly alternatives. For single use plastic bags that are not simple in solving the problem. But a word of advice: Reuse the bags that everyone has at home as often as possible.

CNN’s Katie Hunt say “The fight against single-use plastic bags may not be won immediately. But it’s definitely a work in progress.”

Its use is restricted in nearly a dozen US states and many other countries around the world. and in many cases these efforts have been successful in limiting new sales of very small plastic bags that float in the trees, clog waterways, suck microplastics into soil and water. and harmful to marine life (These restrictions, of course, do not mention existing plastic bags which can take centuries to decompose.)

Environmental success masks other problems.

Many of us have been amazed by the success of reusable bags, such as cloth bags or thicker, more durable plastic bags. which retailers sell at cheap prices Or give it away for free to customers to use as an environmentally friendly alternative to single use plastic. (I have 15 cotton bags and 12 heavy plastic bags stored in a kitchen drawer. Only a few leaves see the light of day)

Campaigners say hoarding these bags is creating new environmental problems. Reusable bags have a much higher carbon footprint than thin plastic bags. of impressive estimates Cotton bags should be used at least 7,100 times to make them a truly environmentally friendly alternative to regular plastic bags.

The answer to the greenest alternative to single-use plastic bags is not simple. But the advice can be summarized as Reuse the bags you have at home as often as possible.

The consequences of the ban on plastic bags

Meaningful bans and restrictions on single-use plastics can in some cases have unintended consequences.

in the state of New Jersey The 2022 ban on plastic and single-use paper bags means that grocery delivery services have switched to heavier bags. Their customers complain that there are so many reusable bags and they are so heavy that they don’t know what they are doing.

Meanwhile, the UK has seen fewer purchases of reusable cloth bags or thick plastic shopping bags than in 2014, when single-use plastic bags were lifted. Greenpeace added that in 2019 UK supermarkets were selling heavy duty reusable plastic shopping bags, known as reusable shopping bags. 1.58 billion ‘bags for life’, which equates to 57 bags per household and more than 1 bag per week. which is an increase of 4.5% compared to 2018.

Or in some cases, forget shopping bags and buy a new one thinking it’s at least better than buying a thin plastic bag. But if you forget more than once, that means you become an unwitting collector of plastic shopping bags.

This suggests that offering thicker plastic bags to encourage reuse is not effective.