Cheap Bags are Bad News
It seems everyone is jumping on the reusables bandwagon, but very few are doing so responsibly. Offering these cheap throwaway bags is actually doing more harm than good.
Non-woven polypropylene bags are made from the same stuff as disposable plastic bags - petroleum. In fact, they're made with a lot more petroleum than their disposable counterparts. Unfortunately, they aren't much stronger than disposables and most of these bags split before they've canceled out their own significant carbon foot print.
Adding to the problem, these have become a popular give away item, which depletes their already low value in most people's minds. They wind up shoved at the bottom of closets or in garbage cans, never being used.
Think about it- how cheap does a bag have to be for Target to be able to sell it for $1 and make a profit? Or for your local sports team to give one away to everyone who attends a game? What do you think the conditions in the factories that make these bags are like? What is the toll on the environment? What's the point?
So while it's true that bags made from more durable materials like rip-stop nylon, or recycled materials like Eco Circle recycled polyester, or natural fibers like hemp and organic cotton cost a little more initially, they last long enough to not only pay for themselves, but also to cancel out their own carbon foot print. Bags from trusted manufacturers like ACME Bags and Envirosax are also made using Fair Trade standards, which means that the people making these bags aren't being exploited.
Bottom line? You get what you pay for. And so does the planet.
For more on cheap reusables, check out our article The Hidden Costs of Cheap Reusable Shopping Bags