According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) November 2016 article, “State Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation,” there are states which are attempting to resolve the impact of plastic bags on the environment by implementing recycling programs. Other states, however, are imposing, or considering the benefits of imposing, bans and fees in order to address this important environmental issue.
On an annual basis, it is estimated that 100 billion plastic bags are used in the United States. Between 350-to-500 plastic bags are used by the average person over the course of a year.
If you conduct business in an area where these recycling programs, bans, and fees are currently being implemented, you are likely aware of the magnitude of this issue. It’s also likely that you have, or are seeking, solutions that include the purchase of wholesale custom reusable bags.
Were you aware that plastic bags, on average, are only used for 25 minutes? This same plastic bag, however, may take from 15-to-1,000 years to break down. While this does depend on the environment, if it’s in a landfill, they tend to biodegrade more easily. It’s also been found that paper bags are similar in this regard.
Even when plastic bags do end up in a landfill, they still take a considerable amount of time to degrade. In fact, it has been estimated that the time it would take a plastic bag to photo-degrade within a landfill is approximately 1,000 years.
It’s important to note that photo-degrading is not the same process as biodegrading, which applies to paper bags and other organic matter. The difference between the two is that with photo-degrading, the plastic bag breaks down into smaller pieces over time, and these particles are known to be toxic to the environment.
The United States’ coastlines are polluted with plastic and other types of debris. It has been estimated that plastic bags comprise over ten percent of the pollution that washes up on American coastlines.
The impact that this has on sea life and other animals is considerable. In many cases, jellyfish and plankton confuse these materials with food. Furthermore, on an annual basis, approximately one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and innumerable other sea creatures die as a result of ingesting plastic bags and plastic particles.
While many children take their lunch to school in a pail or satchel with reusable food containers, others continue to mainly use paper or plastic bags. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that on an annual basis, this creates 67 pounds of trash. In terms of recycling plastic bags, their decade-plus data collection efforts show that only two percent of these bags are recycled.
If you own or manage a retail store, or otherwise engage in selling or promoting merchandise at job fairs, farmers markets, or trade shows, has your company considered wholesale custom reusable bags? There are a variety of bags that you can purchase in bulk to offer customers and/or clients:
- Cloth shopping bags
- Custom insulated bags
- Insulated coolers
- Insulation reusable grocery bags
- Personalized insulated totes
- Plastic tote bags
- Recycled shopping bags
- Trade show bags
When just one reusable bag is used, it is the equivalent of over 700 disposable plastic bags. If an individual continues using this bag until it outlives its usefulness, over 22,000 plastic bags will be kept from polluting the environment.
In addition to keeping plastic out of landfills and the environment, wholesale custom reusable bags are also practical. Whether they’re made of cloth or recycled materials such as plastic, customers and clients will also appreciate that these bags are sturdier than disposable bags.
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