Quick refresher: Americans run through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. While the Danes get by on just four plastic bags per person per year, we Americans manage to use a whopping 365.
There’s obvious heavy plastic bag use at the grocery store check-out line, but what about all those smaller plastic bags we dutifully pull off the roll in the produce department? We have a choice: we can skip bagging our produce, or we can BYO reusable produce bags, which I don’t need for the four onions or six oranges I buy at the grocery store. I simply load them into my cart loose and store them when I get home (washing when ready to use).
But at my local farm stand this summer, I noticed they were bagging small loose produce—berries and mushrooms, for example—in plastic. For those occasions I bought these.
Reusable produce bags come in many sizes and types of materials. Find what works for you! Remember, the plastic we use for few minutes lives on for decades. Here’s one more simple thing we can do.