You may think you are “going green” and helping the environment by buying those cheap polypropylene bags you see in the grocery store, but here are some things to consider before you make that purchase.
What is Polypropylene?
Polypropylene a synthetic resin that is a polymer of propylene - used for making ropes, fabrics, and molded objects. It is a thermoplastic. It actually is a by-product of the oil refining process.
Health, Safety and Environmental Issues:
Plastic represents a 14 to 22% in volume of solid waste. It can be melted and recycled, making it a thermoplastic elastomer but the recycling process degrades the properties. Another difficulty is the management of plastics. The manufacture of the polymer at high temperatures can release irritating vapors to the respiratory system and eyes. At this time there is no known effect from chronic exposure to this product.
Non-woven Polypropylene Bags:
• Are made from an oil-based product & will live in the landfill right next to the plastic grocery bags for 500 years. • They are difficult to separate from other materials for recycling. • They are manufactured in China and shipped thousands of miles across the ocean.
How Can You Help?
• Purchase bags that are made from natural, biodegradable materials. • Even better, buy reusable bags made from organically grown cotton. • Buy a set of bags for your friends – encourage them into “going green”.
Tips For Using Your Bags:
• Put “Bags” on the top of your grocery list. • Buy a bag you actually want to use, one with style. • Leave the bags by the front door or on the door handle. • Purchase two sets of bags and leave one set in the car. • Cloth reusable bags can hold more and are easier to carry. • Change your habits and you’ll soon be feeling less guilty.