You would accumulate 1,000 fewer bags this year if you simply used a reusable bag when shopping, especially grocery shopping. Paper and plastic bags are an environmental killer—they biodegrade slowly or not at all, deplete energy and natural resources, endanger wildlife, and poison our soil and waterways. So, from now on, when a store clerk asks "Paper or plastic?" proudly answer, "Canvas."


  1. Buy several canvas shopping bags or use duffle bags that you already own. Most trips to the store require more than one bag.
  2. Purchase canvas bags that are made from recycled materials.
  3. Keep your canvas bags in the trunk of your car—trips to the store are often spontaneous.
  4. When purchasing only one or two items and you don't have a canvas bag, just carry the items out of the store without a bag.
  5. If you forget your canvas bag, at least avoid double-bagging.


  • Almost 7 billion paper bags and over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks, and wraps are used every year in the U.S. alone.
  • 90% of all grocery bags are plastic.
  • The likely average length of time a high-density plastic bag will exist on earth is 1,000 years.
  • Producing and recycling paper bags generates significantly more air and water pollution compared to plastic bags.
  • Paper is 33% of all waste.
  • The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags every 4 trips to the grocery store.
  • San Francisco, the first city in the U.S. to ban the use of plastic grocery bags, eliminates the use of 100 million plastic bags a year.


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