Starting October 15, 2011, plastic bags will no longer be available at the checkout in large grocery stores and large retailers with pharmacies in the city of Portland.
This is a big win for our environment – it takes natural resources and energy to make reusable bags, but you only have to reuse a bag made from recycled polypropylene (#5 plastic) 11 times before you make up for the environmental costs of using a single-use plastic bag.
Now is a great time for Portlanders to get even better at remembering to bring reusable bags! This also creates an opportunity to think about other one-time-use items you may have in your life and find reusable materials to use instead.
By bringing your own bags, creating your own durable lunch kit, using reusable bottles and coffee cups, you can save natural resources, curb climate change, avoid toxics from plastic containers and save money.
Tips to remember your reusable bags for your next shopping trip:
- Return bags to your car or bike.
- Store bags near your house keys.
- Put a reminder on your grocery list.
- Place this window cling in your car or at home.
Tips for creating your own reusable lunch kit:
- Use durable, long-lasting containers that will last years rather than disposable sandwich wraps, chip bags, fruit salad or pudding cups.
- Opt for washable cloth napkins.
- Use a high-quality water bottle to bring a drink instead of a disposable container (like a juice box). Thermal-insulated ones will even keep your drink as cold or as hot as when you packed it.
Go to Bring Your Bag to learn more about the plastic bag ban in Portland.
Reuseit.com has information on the impacts of one-time-use items, alternatives for purchase and additional facts about plastic bags.