Gone are the days when we thought nothing of repeatedly using plastic bags to cart home our shop bought goods. In recent years awareness regarding an environmentally beneficial lifestyle has been raised worldwide. According to nonprofit organisation We Are What We Do, only one in every 200 bags is recycled and plastics can take up to 400 years to break down in a landfill.
Many retailers encourage customers to reuse bags in exchange for reward points or a small amount discounted from the total spend of the bill.
Reusable bags are becoming part of popular culture, thanks to a handful of companies that have been churning out stylish varieties. The choice of is immense. Cotton, canvas, jute, woven, non woven, laminated, compostable, you name it they've got it covered. Reusable bags are becoming part of popular culture, thanks to a handful of companies that have been churning out stylish varieties.
In fact popular designers have created their own style of reuseable bag as a way to reduce plastic bag usage. We Are What We Do collaborated with Anya Hindmarch in 2007 to create an unbleached cotton bag with "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" printed across it. It originally retailed at £5.00 and sold out within an hour of going on sale in Sainsbury's stores.
In February 2010 Swedish company H&M launched a collection by french designer Sonia Rykiel which included a black cloth shopper bag. A small donation from the sale of each of these bags was made to UNICEF project "All For Children", which promised to protect and improve children's lives in areas of cotton cultivation in India.
This year Tesco joined forces with Irish Fashion Designer Orla Kiely to design an exclusive range of bags which retailed at £4.00 and for each bag sold, a contribution of 50p of the sale price was divided equally and paid to CLIC Sargent Cancer Care for Children and the Royal College of Art. The Scribble Pear design is the first of a range, which will follow on next year. These bags were only available at Tesco Extra Stores and having asked the store manager himself to hold one back for me as soon as they came in delivery, I was informed that only 20 Orla Kiely bags had been assigned to each store and although the range had officially been available since December 2010 he still had not received his batch. Luckily 3 weeks later I would be the proud owner of my very own Orla Kiely Scribble Pear bag. Sad as it may be I am anticipating the launch of the next reusable bag as I am an avid fan of Orla Kiely.
So the lesson for today is? Stop using plastic bags and reduce your carbon footprint. Get your hands on a reusable bag of your own and feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing your doing your bit for the environment.