YouSustain

Reusable Bags

37% of members are saving with this action!

Save up to 50 kg / 110 lbs CO2 and up to $25 per year!

Plastic and paper bags have recently gotten a lot of attention, and it is well deserved. Disposable bags are a recent invention and are a prime example of our wastefull culture.

Plastic bags do not biodegrade, produce a huge mess in our cities and surrounding areas, and consume a large amount of landfill space. Paper bags are better in some ways and worse in others. The total energy required to produce a paper bag is more than plastic. If properly recycled there is a chance it will be a similar footprint to a plastic bag, although most paper bags are not recycled.

In either case paper and plastic are not good. Fortunately we have a solution that satisfied people for thousands of years, until recently: reusable bags. They are cheap, sturdy, and last for years. The hardest part is remembering to bring them to the store! A great tip is to put the bags by the front door after unpacking them inside, so they can be brought out to the vehicle for the next use.

In many locations around the world plastic bags are now taxed, therefore there would be an associated cash savings with this action. The amount paid in the tax varies considerably today, so the savings will be left at zero here.

The CO2 savings per bag is relatively small but adds up quickly per year. Disposable bags have a significant negative impact beyond just CO2 emissions as well.

Benefits and costs

Annual CO2 Savings15 - 50 kg
33 - 110 lbs
Annual Cash Savings$0 - $25
Initial Cost$1 - $10
Time to pay for itself0.0 - 0.0 years
CO2 saved per year per initial dollar invested1.50 - 50.00 kg

* These value ranges were taken from many sources including product documentation, published reports, and the reference material linked here.

If everyone did this ...

If every household in the US did this, it could save a collective 6,600,000 tons of CO2 per year!

This would be equivalent to:

  • Taking 1,294,118 cars off the road for a year
  • Producing 496,241 tons of Beef

Visit How Much CO2 Is That? for more information.

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