Plastic bags have become ubiquitous in our lives, and they are a significant source of pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States generates around 4.9 million tons of plastic bags each year, and only 9% of those bags are recycled. The rest end up in landfills or polluting our waterways and oceans, causing harm to marine life and the environment.
While individuals can make a difference by choosing paper or reusable bags, the real power lies with the supermarkets that offer these bags to customers. In the United States, an estimated 100 billion plastic bags are distributed each year. If supermarkets stopped offering plastic bags as an option, it could have a significant impact on reducing the number of plastic bags in circulation.
Trader Joe's and Aldi are grocery stores that have been successful in reducing the number of plastic bags they distribute by taking this step and have only made paper bags and reusable bags available to customers. Aldi has taken it a step further, announcing a commitment to eliminate all plastic bags (think of those little bags that hold our produce) by the end of 2023.
As consumers, we have the power to encourage supermarkets to make this change. We can lobby our local supermarkets to eliminate plastic bags by writing letters or signing petitions. We can also make our voices heard by shopping at supermarkets that prioritize sustainability and reducing plastic waste.
It's important to remember that this is not just an environmental issue. Plastic bags impact our health. They can take hundreds of years to decompose and release harmful chemicals into the soil and water. When we reduce our use of plastic bags, we take an important step towards protecting our environment and our health.
Trader Joe's and Aldi have shown that it's possible to eliminate plastic bags while still providing customers with a convenient shopping experience. As members of our community, we can call on our local supermarkets to make this change and help create a healthier, more sustainable future for all.
Organize 10 friends and take this to social media. Visit the social media pages of your local grocery store and commit to posting once a week for a month. Feel free to copy the sample text below and make it your own. Together we can make a difference.
Sample text - [insert grocery store social handle] will you consider eliminating plastic bags from your store? If supermarkets stopped offering plastic bags, we would take an important step towards protecting our environment and our health.