Plastic Bag full of shopping

Plastic bag stockpiles, recycle them & make your own bag for life instead!

Why are plastic bags such a big problem?

Since plastic bags were invented in 1959, it has plagued the planet and it’s living species. At the time of invention, it was assumed that they were good for the environment as they replaced paper bags in a bid to reduce deforestation. However, they are not biodegradable and often used once and thrown away.

What impact do plastic bags have?

They end up damaging our shores and coastlines, rivers and lakes, harming animals and plants and ultimately humans as it becomes integrated into our ecosystem and our food chains. All of this is only what we can see (above ground), the landfill situation is even worse. Every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some shape or form and the production of any more virgin plastic is wholly unsustainable!

So how do we avoid living in a world filled with old plastic bags?

The simple answer is to stop using them! Outside of repurposing the ones that already exist, there isn’t anything that we can do to get rid of plastic bags. The only weapon that we have is refusing to use them.

Some countries around the world have introduced a charge for plastic bags which is a good move and has already started changing some habits but not enough. For instance my local shop still offers a plastic bag with every purchase, they simply swallow to cost. If we are going to see real change it needs to come from you, at The Eco Review, we believe that small changes made by many outweigh big drastic changes made by few.

Okay I’m sold! I no longer want to use plastic bags… What can I do?

  1. If as most people do, you have a vast amount of plastic bags stockpiled at home, make sure you recycle these. Most supermarkets allow you to recycle plastic bags and will turn them into bags for life.
  2. Always carry a bag for life, have multiple, leave them in your bag or coat pockets. If your doing the big shop, leave a few in the boot of your car and if your doing a small shop, consider if you need to use a bag at all? If you make a conscious effort to not use single use plastic bags for just 1 month, it will become a habit and you will never go back!

Why not try making your own bag for life?

Do you have any old t shirts you are thinking of giving to the charity shop or throw away? Here is a step by step guide on how to make a bag for life from your old t shirt without a sowing machine!

  • All you need is an old t shirt and a pair of scissors
  • cut the t shirt from shoulder to armpit to remove the sleeves and create the handles for the bag
  • at the bottom of the t shirt – cut in a straight line every 2cm’s to create tassels at the front and the back
  • create a knot with the tassels bringing the front of the t-shirt with the back.
  • turn your new long life bag inside out and VOILA!

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Please leave your comments below on any tips you have and products you use – we read them all!

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