It is a little know fact that using plastic bags are not always the worst choice when it comes to the environment. Some people believe that using paper bags is better for the natural environment than plastic bags. This however is not necessarily true, in fact it some studies have shown that using paper bags are worse than using plastic bags to take home your shopping. Of course this is a subject that can be endlessly debated, but generally the paper bag uses, 4 times more energy, and produces 70% more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags to manufacture.
Bearing this in mind what is the best choices, for taking your shopping home, and the best choices to make to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging you take home with you.
1). Carry your own shopping bags with you, these could be made from cloth, string or other reusable long lasting bags. Ideally they need to durable enough to last for up to three years.
2) Often the store will have plenty of spare cardboard boxes left over once their goods have been stacked on shelves. Look out for these in your local supermarket. They are often helpfully stacked near by the check out tills. If you can't see any then ask a member of staff they may have some in their store rooms you can use.
3) Choose concentrated produces e. g, washing liquids and clothes softeners, dilute these at home. The bottles will be much smaller leaving you with less to throw away once the contents have been used up.
4). Buy products in returnable and refillable containers. Some products have refill packs so you only have to buy the main container once.
5) Avoid packages that contain mixed materials as these are too difficult or expensive to recycle.
6) Buy foods and drinks in containers that you know can be recycled e. g, glass bottles.
7) If you must use a supermarket bag then chose the plastic over heavy paper bags.
8) If possible use local shops like butchers and grocers. They will provide you with the goods you require without all the unnecessary packaging.
Following these simple tips will help to ensure you lead your life in an eco-friendly way. By greatly reducing the amount of packaging you need to throw away into land fill.