Can A Shopping Bag Be For Life?

Plastic shopping bags are controversial. Now, a couple of decades ago this is a sentence one wouldn’t have imagined typing or reading, but today, the issue of plastic shopping bags is one which raises a lot of hackles. One of the major issues is that when disposed of, plastic bags take centuries to decompose. Even when they do decompose, they release toxins into the soil and water where they lie, and more often they will present a choking hazard to marine life. This is all the more disturbing given the huge number of plastic bags distributed over the course of a year.

The “Bag For Life” is a relatively new innovation that has caught on in many countries. Like the old style, flimsy plastic bags that will hold shopping for long enough to get it from the store to your house, they are made of plastic – however, they are a lot stronger and have bigger capacity, and can be re-used as often as you like. Eventually, they may fray and come apart – but most supermarkets will take them and give a new one for free, before disposing of the old one safely.

In recent years it has become more common to see fabric bags on sale in supermarkets. These have an additional advantage over plastic bags in that they are considerably stronger and more durable, can be cleaned and are usually a lot easier on the eye, too. These bags are made from naturally-occurring materials, which as a result means that they do not require costly and damaging manufacturing processes.