Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 10.42.12 AMIt seems like nowadays we’re seeing more and more people walking into the grocery store with their own reusable grocery bags. While it may seem like a gimmick to get you to spend an extra few dollars while you’re waiting at the checkout line, reusable bags are much more than that—they’re helping save our environment.

While plastic bags may seem convenient at the time, Huffpost Taste says, “we’re finally discovering the inconvenient truth about plastic bags: They’re rarely recycled…and they’re an enormous harm to our environment.”

Check out some of the reasons you should consider making the switch:

  • Plastic bags take anywhere from 15-1000 years to decompose.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, only 1% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide; the rest are left to live on indefinitely in landfills, the ocean or other places in the environment.
  • An estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags.
  • Plastic bags make up over 10% of washed-up debris polluting the US coastline.
  • The average reusable bag has the lifespan of over 700 disposable plastic bags.
  • Over a lifetime, use of reusable bags by just one person would save over 22,000 plastic bags.
  • It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the amount of plastic bags the US uses per year.
  • The petroleum used to produce 14 plastic bags can drive a car one mile.
  • Paper bags aren’t much better. The US cuts down 14 million trees per year simply to supply the demand for paper shopping bags.

Do you have a bunch of plastic bags sitting around at home? There are tons of recycling centers. To find the one nearest you, click here.

Looking to switch over? Your local Sparkle Market has reusable bags available!