Plastic Shopping Bags: Myths vs Facts

Plastic shopping bags have become ubiquitous in our daily lives as a society. This is generally because they are inexpensive, durable and useful for many household and commercial purposes.

In recent years, plastic retail shopping bags have been viewed as culprits in our environmental crisis around the globe. In many sectors, they are being replaced by reusable canvas or paper bags in order to address this crisis.

However, it’s important to dig into the facts about plastic shopping bags and their impact on the environment. Let’s look at a few common myths and compare them to scientific evidence. We can then see which bag option is the most environmentally friendly choice.

Myth: Plastic shopping bags are made from crude oil.

Fact: Plastic shopping bags are not made from oil, but rather from ethylene. This is a substance that is derived from natural gas. Ethylene must be removed in order for natural gas to be used as a domestic fuel.

If ethylene was simply burned off after it was removed, it would become an air pollutant. So it is manufactured into plastic bags, in order to avoid contributing to greenhouse gasses.

Myth: Plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled.

Fact: Plastic shopping bags can absolutely be recycled, and the process is cost-effective and efficient in the correct facility. In fact, 90% of the US population has access to a recycling drop-off location. Everyone can be part of the recycling solution!

Myth: Plastic shopping bags are wasteful because they are single- use.

Fact: The government of Quebec reports that plastic shopping bags are reused, at a rate of 77.7% in fact! They are useful for trashcan liners, pet waste removal, packing items for travel and so much more.

Myth: Cloth, canvas and paper bags are much more environmentally friendly than plastic retail bags.

Fact: Paper bags generate more solid waste than plastic bags and are more expensive to recycle. And reusable totes sold in grocery stores are much more likely to be made from oil than plastic shopping bags.

Myth: Plastic shopping bags are creating massive amounts of litter.

Fact: Plastic bags make up about 0.3% of municipal waste, according to the U.S. Department of Environment Protection. And plastic shopping bags would only be a small percentage of this.

Polymerall is all about providing customized and versatile flexible packaging solutions. Our custom printed t-shirt shopping bags are 100% recyclable and 100% customizable. Enjoy custom film colors and a 6-color registered print. Add your logo to these reusable bags so your brand can go wherever your customer goes.

Call today and let’s get started!