I’m sure you have a stash of reusable grocery/tote bags. But if you are like me, sometimes you end up in the checkout line at the store without your eco-friendly bags in tow. Maybe you forgot them in your car and are in too big of a hurry to run to the parking lot to grab them. What’s the harm of using a few plastic bags now and then, you might ask. Here’s a surprising fact that might make you think twice next time:
Shopping bags, like many other plastics, contain “slip agents,” or surface lubricants, made from animal fat. New plastics and adhesives are being developed by companies such as Tyson Foods contain keratin protein from chicken feathers.
We know plastic bags are bad. Countries around the world have enacted bans on plastic bags for the better part of the past decade. According to Ecowatch.com, more than 1 billion single-use plastic bags are given out free of charge everyday.
In 2009 the U.S. International Trade Commission reported that 102 billion plastic bags were used in the U.S. As plastic breaks down, toxic additives such as flame retardants and antimicrobials are released into the environment – disrupting endocrine systems in humans and animals and causing fatal blockages in digestive tracks.
If climate change and the havoc it wreaks on wildlife doesn’t inspire you to be more diligent about reusable shopping bags, perhaps the idea of carrying your organic produce in a bag slathered with animal fat will be a proverbial string around your finger on your next trip to the grocer or farmer’s market?
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