Reusable Shopping Bags are Making a Big Impact

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BYOB stands for bring your own shopping bag!  As we kick off the new year of 2010,Guest Posting it is crazy how much shopping we historically do here in America and world-wide and the trends are increasing. Whether it be frequent trips to the grocery store as we keep our kitchen’s stocked for wonderful meals and tasty treats or those sometimes dreaded, yet skillful “6 bags on each arm” walks through the packed local mall, it all adds up to so much unnecessary waste.  One of the most blatant examples of this waste is disposable shopping bags.An estimated 100 billion plastic shopping bags are consumed each year in the USA, according to the Wall-Street Journal.  Most plastic bags end up in landfills and the rest often end up in rivers, ponds, lakes, streams or in the sea, where animals can ingest or become entangled in them. Household waste, shopping bags included, increases by more than 25% on average in November and December.  Considering how many shopping bags are consumed and wasted at this time of year, the time is now to spread the word about the positive benefits of eco-friendly reusable shopping bags to influence our families, friends and communities.Adopting a BYOB strategy in our individual shopping habits is a simple way to do just that. If we can raise awareness at this time, the positive impact for the environment is incalculable for 2010 and well into the future.  Several cities have already made gradual but significant progress in promoting the use of eco-friendly non woven reusable grocery bags in recent years. Motivating consumers with plastic and paper bag bans, discounts at the register for reusable bag usage and tax motivations are a few to speak of.Right here in America, the San Jose City Council recently passed one of the nation’s strictest bans on plastic and paper shopping bags. This is a big victory for the Bay Area, which has one million plastic bags per year accumulating in and along the San Francisco Bay. San Jose becomes the latest bay area city to enact some type of ban on disposable shopping bags; others include San Francisco and Palo Alto. Tracy Seipel of the San Jose Mercury News reported that it was actually ONE man who really jump-started the ban, another great example of the power of one person.  Here’s a an excerpt:While visiting his sister-in-law in Taipei, Kansen Chu, elected to San Jose city council in 2007, went grocery shopping and was surprised to get charged for plastic grocery bags. The next day, he brought his own cloth bags back to the store.  “I guess the question,” said Chu, “was, Why not San Jose?” He began a conversation with the city’s environmental services staff, which later moved to council committee discussions. MK bag on sale

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