It is no longer acceptable for a product to be only of high quality in order for it to appeal to customers, there are now far more factors at play. That product or the company that produces it must also now adhere to a higher standard of environmental safety. This policy applies to all line of products from car parts, and household cleaners, to the food that Fluffy the cat consumes. Products with an over abundance of packaging and those packaged in non-recyclable or plastic containers are being passed over for environmentally safer product packaging such as glass, cloth, and paper.
This new customer consciousness attitude definitely also applies to what consumers pack their purchases in. Many grocery stores have completely removed plastic bags from their check stands and instead now offer customers the option of bringing their own packing bags with them or purchasing reusable bags. The reasons for this move are important ones.
Most consumers are now realizing that plastic bags are harmful to both wildlife and the environment. Not only are these used plastics poisoning our environment when they are dumped into landfills but they are also killing land, sea, and winged creatures of countless species.
It was discovered back in 1975 that ocean going vessels dumped approximately eight million pounds of plastics into our oceans, rivers, and lakes. The bodies of birds, dolphins, whales, turtles, and numerous other species were also discovered. Strangulation, entanglement, or the ingestion of these plastics was found to be the reason for their deaths.
The toll on land based wildlife by wayward plastics is just as harsh. By switching to more environmentally packaging in your grocery and department store purchases you can help to save lives. Every piece of plastic that is not produced makes a difference but it is not just the plastic waste that is at issue. Plastic shopping bags are an oil based product. Don't let the term polyethylene fool you.
It is estimated that China’s current ban on free plastic bags will save thirty-seven million gallons of oil per year from being used in their manufacture. The production of that oil would have left a very heavy footprint on our environment. You can make a difference. When consumers make eco friendly packaging choices they cause the profit margin in companies to either rise or fall depending upon that companies business practices.
Whenever possible choose reusable cloth, linen, or canvas bags for shopping. Purchase foods with a minimum of packaging, or ones that are packaged in reusable, or recyclable containers. Paper, cardboard, and glass containers are more environmentally friendly than plastic ones. These packages are also more likely to be recycled as well.
Another option is to purchase bulk food products to reduce packaging waste. As manufacturers catch on with this new green theme they are putting out tips to help encourage you to purchase their products. Watch for the “made with recycled materials symbol” and purchase products packaged in these materials.
Recycle or reuse containers from your purchased products. Many of these previously used boxes or jars can be used for storage or other household use, craft projects, gift packaging, or in the creation of new products. Do not let your waste wind up in a landfill or as litter within our woods or oceans. Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle.
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