There has been a lie that has been circulating recently, which states that plastic bags are not that bad for the environment. Those who use PE bags will state that "we can recycle them", but the statistics show that this is not working. According to the Wall Street Journal, less than one percent of these plastic bags are recycled - all of the other plastic bags just go in the landfill. Once they are there, they can take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose. The sad thing is that many of them don't even make it into a landfill; they end up in the ocean, where they can contribute to the extinction of endangered species.
PP woven shopping bag manufacturers are doing us a service, however, by providing quality shopping bags. These bags are made of a material called polypropylene. This material is made in a manner that is friendly to the environment and that does not add much pollution, especially compared to plastic bags. The North Carolina State University research facility recently published an article that explains that traditional plastic bags are made up of many toxic polymer particles. When they finally do decompose, they are releasing toxins out into the environment! The ones made by reusable shopping bag manufacturers, however, do not have this problem. Polypropylene is considered safe and is not at risk for this type of danger.
Another thing to consider is the usability of a shopping bag like this. A plastic bag can only be used once, perhaps twice, and then it needs to be thrown away or recycled. A PP shopping bag, though, can be used in upwards of hundreds or even thousands of times before it begins to wear - this is because polypropylene is intrinsically resistant to wear and tear.
You may be thinking that paper bags are much better than plastic bags. However, all disposable bags such as these are not friendly to the environment. Some estimates say that as many as 14 million trees per year are cut down in the United States alone for paper bag manufacturing. The production process for paper bags can actually release just as much toxins into the air as plastic bags do! And according to the Wall Street Journal, less than 20% of paper bags end up being recycled. Although that is better than plastic bags, it is still not good for the environment whatsoever, as that puts over 80% of the paper bags ending up in a landfill.
As you can see, the real people who are being environmentally friendly are the reusable shopping bag manufacturers. The production of the PP shopping bags produces very little pollution, especially when you consider that the bag will be used possibly over one thousand times.
Although you may not feel like one person can make a difference, you can. Small businesses, families, and individuals can start making the decision to use reusable bag instead of the archaic paper or PE bags. Over time, the savings will add up, and the environment will be better for it.