What is a reusable bag? They are shopping bags that are used multiple times.
With more and more communities introducing plastic bag bans, here in Marco Island that conversation has started at the Farmers Market. For the 2018-19 Farmers Market season, Samantha Malloy, Manager of Parks, Culture and Recreation, sent a letter to all the vendors advising them of a change in the Farmers Market policy on plastic bags.
Vendors were advised to refrain from dispensing single use plastic bags to shoppers and to use more eco-friendly bags. Malloy remarked that they had a big problem with lightweight plastic bags at the end of market days. Although the vendors are required to dispose of their trash at the end of each market day, there was an increase of stray plastic bags floating down the waterways, stuck in drains, trees and shrubs, and on the landscape.
Using a reusable bag is a small step in the right direction and an opportunity for both shoppers and vendors to make an environmental shift. Reusable bags can be used many times, which helps reduce waste and pollution. The policy is for shoppers to use reusable bags and for the vendors to find alternatives to single use plastic bags.
The majority of shoppers have caught on to the BYO-Reusable Bag policy. Hopefully, shoppers will start bringing their “reusables” to the supermarkets or places where single use plastic bags are offered. If you forget to bring you own, you can purchase a reusable tote at the Farmers Market tent.
The majority of vendors are happy to do their part for the environment. Marco’s Farmers Market is leading the trend in the BYO-Reusable Bag. Cape Coral is in the process of rethinking their policy for their 2019-2020 season. Third Street Farmers Market in Naples provide vendors with a cloth bag to give to shoppers who make a purchased of $20 or more.
- Vendors are getting very creative by offering their own handmade bags for sale, repurposed from old t-shirts, geared for small or loose produce such as fruits or vegetables.
- Old backpacks are very versatile and reusable.
- If you can sew, consider making reusable bag from fabric from tablecloths, sheets, coffee sacks and other materials easily found at your local thrift store.
- Reusable bags made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp and jute are long lasting, and unlike a plastic bag, you will never see a reusable cotton bag up a tree.
- Until you have a better option, reuse plastic bags made from recycled plastic. Look for the “continuous arrow” symbol, signifying that it is a compostable plastic product.
The best reusable bag is the one that you reuse the most. The real question is, which of these bags have the lowest environmental impact.