Unless recycled, thousands of polyethylene plastic shopping bags find their way into waterways, landfills and other natural areas every year. Not only do they take hundreds of years to decompose, they cause significant damage to the environment, especially the soil. This underscores the importance of using green shopping bags.
Millions of animals die every year on eating plastic shopping bags. And when these animals die and decompose, these bags - which remain almost unchanged - get released back into nature and get eaten by more animals, thereby repeating the process. But green shopping bags of biodegradable type decompose easily and as such pose no threat to the environment.
Plastic shopping bags are also a menace as they block drains in urban areas that lead to water-logging and have even caused severe floods in some countries. Needless to say, some countries have already banned the use of plastic bags and others are contemplating on doing the same. This has indeed spurred people to look for eco-friendly alternatives, and green shopping bags fill this need appropriately. Certain countries have even imposed tax on plastic shopping bags in order to discourage their usage, making green shopping bags a more cost-effective option for businesses.
Perhaps the best variety of green shopping bags are those made from biodegradable substances like cotton or jute. As they decompose easily, they do not clog sewers the way plastic bags do, and do not contaminate the soil in any way when disposed of as waste products.
The green shopping bags like cotton totes ands cotton string bags are highly durable, strechable, machine washable and have good carrying capacity. And green shopping bags need not be lacklustre bags with merely an eco-friendly trademark.Cotton bags can come in a variety of colours with elaborate designs.Not only can such green shopping bags be used over and over again, but being biodegradable they decompose when discarded as waste.
Again, there are water resistant, resusable green shopping bags made from "Non-woven Polypropylene" that are strong, long-lasting and economical. Such bags may not be biodegradable, but are still considered "green" for being "recyclable".
Other reusable shopping bags include nylon bags that are machine washable and foldable. They can be called "green" for their "longevity" and "reusability". Although, not everyone is willing to accept nylon bags as "eco friendly" !
Again, green shopping bags can be made from recycled materials like vinyl mesh ad banners or juice containers.
Businesses can use green shopping bags as promotional merchandise. With logos glaringly embossed on reusable green shopping bags, businesses can show their concern for the environment and urge their customers to use these bags anywhere and everywhere, thereby promoting their company or brand names. This presents an opportunity for small ecopreneurs to enter, if they can source the wares from manufacturers of green shopping bags and convince business houses to use them as promotional items. This is a smart way of entering the green business arena, without having to bear the exertions and expenditures of producing green shopping bags.
However, the innovative ecopreneurs need not take the easy route - i.e. trading in bags produced by others. They must think of using low cost materials for making green shopping bags that are either reusable or at least biodegradable.