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Paper or Plastic? Neither!

I remember when I would go to the grocery store and the clerk would ask “paper or plastic?” We typically would say “paper” because it was easier to recycle. Our garbage company picks up recycles, but doesn’t do plastic bags. And we’d always forget to take our plastic bags back to the store. So they’d pile up in our recycle drawer. Paper was easier, but that bothered us, too.

So a few years ago, my wife and I decided to invest in durable, canvas bags. We bought four like the one pictured here from ECObags. They are durable, socially responsible canvas bags. About $9 each. And we love them! When we bought ours, they had a logo on the side that said “neither”. I liked that.

We’ve found it rare when four bags aren’t enough for our shopping. And we can pack them with heavy stuff and they hold up really well. The straps are sturdy and I’m amazed at the stuff we can load in them. Almost heavier than we can lift sometimes — really.

Plastic bags are convenient and cheap. But cheap isn’t always good. Worldwide, we consume and discard between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags. That’s about 1 million EVERY MINUTE! About 380 billion are in the US alone, 100 billion of those are grocery bags, costing retailers $4 billion annually.

We’ve found our bags useful for carrying all sorts of things around, not just our groceries. And even after three years, they’re still going strong.

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