If you can remember to take them to the shops, you might not find yourself at too much of an inconvenience, but they’re probably not that much better for the environment.
Cotton bags would need to be used 131 times compared with a regular plastic bag before they are better in terms of limiting global warming, according to the Environment Agency.
If shoppers reuse around 40pc of their plastic bags as trash binliners, that multiple rises to 173 times. So many reuses “seems very ambitious.”
Most cotton bags aren’t used anywhere near that much.
(Plastic)Bag bans lead many customers to start using paper bags. This in turn led to “greater landfill waste than plastic bags” in San Francisco, according to one study.
Reusable bags can be a refuge for all kinds of bacteria.
When researchers collected them from shoppers in California and Arizona they found “large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half”. 12pc of bags the researchers found Escherichia coli commonly known as E Coli that can result in bloody diarrhoea, and sometimes kidney failure or even death.
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