Time Magazine had an article about plastic bags and reusable designer plastic bags last week. The article included a graphic showing how much oil and resources are used in making all of the plastic bags used in the US. You can read the article here (but without the graphic online, unfortunately).
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The trouble is that California is one of the few places to mandate that stores offer plastic-bag recycling, and the industry has been slow to volunteer elsewhere. Less than 1% of bags are recycled in the U.S., according to the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute. Major chains like Giant Foods are trying to improve that statistic by giving rebates to shoppers who return plastic bags for recycling, although few consumers take advantage of the policy. In March, Ikea began charging a nickel per plastic bag and selling a reusable tote for 59Â¢. While it’s still too soon to tell how this strategy has affected U.S. consumers, a similar program launched in the U.K. last year reduced plastic-bag consumption 95%. Ireland has reported a similar decline since the country instituted a roughly 20Â¢-per-bag “plastax” in 2002.
A few months ago, I heard of a UK company that produces a bag called Onya (the name meaning “you always have it on ya”) which makes bags that fold up very small and are made up of parachute material. They can carry something like 14 kilos and fold up into a little bag which will fit on your keychain.
I ordered one last week and am very pleased with it. My only problem is that I forget to tell the people at the till that I have my own bag before they start putting things in a plastic one. So I make them take everything out of the bag so they have a crumpled used bag they don’t know what to do with (they probably throw it away, defeating the point).
The bag I bought cost about Â£7. It does fit on my keychain, but is slightly too bulky to put it in my jeans pocket with my keys. Still, it’s a nice bag and I hope it catches on more.
You can look at the Onya bags on their website here. (BTW, from a web developer’s perspective, their site needs to lost the Comic Sans font.)