If you are old enough to remember the 1970s and 80s then you remember when recycling really started to be introduced to municipalities on a large scale. Before we all began sorting in our homes, some looked at the advent of recycling programs as unnecessary, too costly or just too much of a hassle. It all began with the introduction of the all aluminum can in the 60s and later the advent of refundable deposits on bottles. Soon we began to see aluminum, glass, plastic and paper recycling receptacles pop up in our hometowns at municipal buildings and the like. Fast forward to curbside pick up and separated cans for trash and recycling at ballparks and restaurants and something that was once so foreign has now become commonplace and for all of the right reasons.

Such is the case with plastic grocery bags at supermarkets and convenience stores in the age of today. About 25 years ago, we saw supermarkets trending away from paper bags toward plastic due to environmental concerns. roughly a decade ago, many began to wonder if paper bags were not indeed less harmful to the environment than plastic ones. In 2016, the choice is clear:  Reusable bags are best for your shopping trip.

You see, even if they come from recycled materials, paper bags are never a truly environmentally sound choice because we all know that at some point there is a felled tree in that bag’s ancestry. Plastic bags, it has been found are terrors in a recycling center as they get caught up in sorting machines and often foul up the process. Disposing of them in the trash can is not a sound option as they have been known to end up in water systems and other environments killing fish and birds. The only reasonable choice is to adopt the reusable bag!

They are on sale at nearly every checkout counter at every supermarket for around $1 – $3 per bag. And, while we used to only see one or two seemingly odd folks walking into the store with these bags, now the numbers are growing by the day. Some municipalities are even beginning to ban plastic shopping bags for their strain on the environment. The only question left is how much more time will go by before you adopt the reusable grocery bag?