It has been proven time and again that plastic bags are bad for the environment. Many countries are now taking steps to ban plastic items, especially bags in grocery and chain stores. Along with creating awareness, reusable and recyclable plastic bags are also being promoted.

Impact When You Recycle Plastic Bags on the Environment

Plastic bags have a negative impact on the environment. Landfill sites, groundwater as well as small and large water bodies are affected the most by them. They impact animals and marine life too. Improper disposal of plastic bags can land them in landfills, where they stay for years. Plastic bags – the ones from grocery stores – are made of polyethylene, preventing microorganisms from breaking them down. They do not identify polyethylene as food. Due to the sun's ultraviolet rays, plastic bags photo-degrade and become brittle, but do not decompose.

Animals may consume plastic bags, and die a slow, painful death from choking on it. Some plastic bags end up in streams, creek, lakes and rivers. They disintegrate into little pieces which fish mistake as food. After ingesting these tiny pieces of plastic, fish can develop liver degeneration and other diseases.

Several NGOs run campaigns that address this issue of water pollution caused by plastic bags. They conduct cleanup drives and promote the use of reusable bags such as custom totes. You can also recycle plastic bags. However, people prefer to chuck them out with regular garbage, instead of putting them in recycle bins. The greenhouse gas impact of a plastic bag is up to three times more than that of a reusable bag.

Plastic bags and other plastic debris can be seen floating in the oceans. In the North Pacific Ocean, is a mass of swirling trash, which is known as the Pacific Trash Vortex. This includes plastic bags, bottles and other plastic items.

Recycle Plastic Bags – Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Using custom totes, which you can bring from home while shopping is one of the many ways in which you can contribute to improving the environmental quality. Bags that are made from organic cotton, or other recyclable materials prove to be a much better option. Custom totes are foldable, and can be easily carried when you go shopping. If everyone collectively starts using cloth bags, the use of plastic bags will decrease substantially. Custom totes are eco-friendly and do not harm the environment when compared to paper and plastic bags.