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Covid-19 has caused the fear of using reusable bags at the grocery store

Let’s talk about not being able to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store during the pandemic. Did you know that a few grocery stores were not permitting reusable bags? Would you prefer using a plastic bag or your own reusable bag during this time?

As places slowly started to reopen a few grocery stores were still not allowing customers to bring their reusable bags. I do understand that there is a need to have certain restrictions for healthy practices especially during Covid-19, however, I do not agree that using a plastic bag from the store is going to mitigate the problem. Of course, many will disagree that it is better to use a plastic bag instead of a reusable bag since we are being mindful of our health during the pandemic.

I prefer to take a reusable bag with me because I know I have taken the necessary precautions to keep it clean. Remember you are still advised to wipe down your groceries from the grocery store once you arrive home, so why the need for all the unnecessary plastic bags?

We are aware of the trouble with plastic bags which start with their production, which requires fossil fuels and emits many greenhouse gases. Then, you’re lucky if you get a few uses out of one before the flimsy material develops a rip. Yet scientists estimate that it takes plastic bags over 500 years to degrade and, in the meantime, they litter our streets, trees, and oceans and end up inside marine animals. When plastic does finally break down into tiny microplastics, these can accumulate inside animals, causing serious health issues.

I can understand sometimes it can be difficult to avoid plastic but you can reduce the number of plastic bags you do use on a regular basis. A few other ways to improve your habits:

1. Obviously, a major step is to use your own reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags.

2. Plastic bags can be difficult to recycle, so it is wise to reuse plastic shopping bags at home for as long as you can. (use for small trash cans)

3. Educate yourself more on how plastic bags are a huge environmental problem around the world and are causing huge issues that affect human and animal health.

4. Search for stores nearby that offer you credit for using a reusable bag.

5. Join a community group in your area to continue learning and sharing your knowledge with your friends and family. For example, Plastic Free Toronto -

Quick facts about single use plastic bags

i. It takes years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. (Unfortunately the bags don't break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.)

ii. An average family will use 60 plastic bags on four visits to the supermarket.

iii. Only 1 to 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.

iv. 160,000 plastic bags are used globally every second! 

v. Plastic bags cause the death of many marine animals when they are mistaken for food.

For more info check out

How did you feel about not being able to use your reusable bags in the grocery store during covid?

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