A woman shields her eyes from the sun while sitting on the front steps of Union Square Park in New York City on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Her reusable cloth bag, though labeled with the insignia “Parsons,” represents a relatively new and touted eco-friendly, fashion accessory. Makers span the entire spectrum, from traditional markets such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and even Kmart, to luxury designers and trendy clothing stores, such as J. Crew and Rebecca Taylor. As an alternative to plastic bags, reusable cloth bags are promoted by many environmentalists as going a long way towards relieving bulging landfills and city dumps. While the reusable cloth bag first became popular as a means of carrying groceries, women lately have taken to sporting them in addition to their primary handbag as a means of storing separate shoes, gym clothes, books, and the like.
However, there is some concern in the industry that reusable cotton or canvas bags could actually be more environmentally harmful then their plastic counterparts. Do you think that they release more Co2 emissions then the now-shunned plastic bags during their production? It would be interesting to hear our readers’ view on the use and impact of plastic versus reusable bags. Please comment below.
The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.
EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.
EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.