First of all, we will look at some plastic facts and the effect plastic bags have on our environment.
Worldwide, it is estimated that there are between 500 million and 1 trillion plastic bags used across the world each year. Also, plastic bags are in fact recyclable but it is only around 3% of them that can be recycled – the rest fill up landfill wastes, the ocean and make up a huge chunk of the litter on our streets.
What’s more, once these plastic bags end up in landfill sites they stay there for around 1,000 years before they decompose. They still release toxic chemicals into the soil whilst they decompose too.
Finally, in 2002, in emerged that there was plastic found in 75% of dead sea-turtles.
If we compare that to eco-friendly bags like jute and cotton bags, the differences can be seen easily. For example, one cotton bale weighing about 227kg can create around 215 jeans, 3000 nappies, 250 bed sheets, 1200 t-shirts and 680,000 cotton balls, which can all be used over and over again. A plastic bag is used once, maybe twice and thrown away.
The growing of jute can provide an income for more than four million farming families and communities in poor areas. What’s more, one hectare of jute plants can consumer around 15 tons of carbon dioxide, whilst releasing around 11 tons of O2 during its growing season.
Both jute bags and cotton bags can carry much more weight than a plastic bag can and can be used and re-used without losing its performance. Finally, these eco bags can be personalised and modified to create individual bags suitable for promotion by businesses.
There are clear differences between plastic bags and eco bags and the main difference is their strain on the planet. Plastic bags cause harm to animals and the environment when it fills up landfill, but cotton and jute bags can be used over and over again and can be recycled once it has seen the end of its life.