This Earth Day, Discover the Fossil-Fueled Connection Between Plastics and Produce Bags (and How to Invest In Something Better)

This Earth Day, Discover the Fossil-Fueled Connection Between Plastics and Produce Bags (and How to Invest In Something Better)

Earth Day is every day around here - it’s baked into our company ethos and why we do what we do. We love this holiday so much that we started our company on Earth Day, four years ago!

Having said that, we jump at any opportunity to show our planet how much we care for her, so we’re stoked about Earth Day! This year’s theme is “Invest In Our Planet." In honour of both MB's 4th b-day and Earth Day, we thought we’d take some time to talk about how we’re doing just that, by changing the game when it comes to your shopping habits.

“We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.” – EarthDay.org

The oily deal on plastic produce bags

Imagine this: you’re shopping for your fruits and veggies and at each display, instead of the usual roll of produce bags, you’re met with a vat of slimy liquid and told that you must dip your produce in it before carrying on your merry way.

Would you dip your broccoli in there?

Probably not.

So why do we go for the produce bag, when it is ultimately just a slimy coating, solidified?

Plastic bags are, at their origin, fossil fuels. They begin their life in the ground, are extracted through great force and with much processing before being turned into the raw plastic pellets used to create bags, bottles, and all manner of goods.

Every time we reach for a plastic bag, we are a) wrapping our food in fossil fuels and b) sending a signal to the fossil fuel extractors that we’d like more of this, please. How can we put this politely? This is no bueno!

Why this matters for Earth Day

In case you hadn’t heard, humanity hasn’t been all that kind to our planet. We are consuming her natural resources at an alarming rate, creating mountains of waste, and emitting enough greenhouse gas emissions into her atmosphere to trigger all kinds of wacky climatic changes. Ugh. We are sorry, Mama Earth. :(

The biggest challenge facing our beautiful, blue-green home, is climate change. Fossil fuel extraction and use is a direct contributor: as we burn fossil fuels, we emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, (carbon dioxide and methane are two you might have heard about). This wouldn’t be a problem - CO2 and methane are a normal part of our natural climatic systems - except that we are putting too much into the atmosphere too quickly. The planet simply cannot keep up.

We just talked about how plastic bags are fossil fuels, and well, we can’t really afford to keep making them. Especially those sh*tty, flimsy, plastic produce bags.

On Earth Day (and every day really) we need to be pumping the breaks on our preoccupation with plastic produce bags. Plastics and climate change are tied together but luckily, there are some ways to untangle this mess and bag our plastic habit for good.

Why reusable produce bags?

Reusable produce bags are a beautiful solution to a fossil-fueled problem. Not only are they 1000x more sturdy than single-use plastic produce bags, but they also conserve a heck ton of resources: you can purchase a single bag and that’s it, that’s all! Your single, reusable bag will outlast an untold number of plastic bags.

(And, if one day, your reusable bag finally decides its time to move on to reusable bag heaven, you can cut your bag into pieces and compost it; or repurpose the material for a cleaning rag. We are all about zero waste here!)

A Black, female model stands in a kitchen pouring contents out of a Market Bags "Not a Plastic Bag" reusable produce bag into a jar.

Investing in reusables

We know what you’re thinking: “This is all great and we agree we’d rather not dip our veggies in oil, but…those bags at the store are free! Reusable bags are pricey. How do I make the leap?”

It’s a fair question and one we receive all the time. Our bags do have a cost associated with them, and it’s hard to argue with free. Unfortunately, though, plastic bags aren’t technically “free,” at least not for the planet. They take an incredible amount of resources to manufacture and they create waste. 

Our bags are free from one thing: plastic! And, our costs reflect a number of factors, including certification programs to ensure quality and organic standards are met and fair wages to our staff. 

Here’s what else you get when you invest in our reusable bags:

  1. Transparency: we let it all hang out when it comes to our supply chain!
  2. Durability (have you seen how many apples we can squeeze into these bags??)
  3. Like a unicorn, our bags are unique and one-of-a-kind, especially when it comes to our collaborations, upcycled collections, and tote bags.
  4. Good feels from supporting a small, independent business (supporting small biz is a David move in a sea of Goliaths *cough* Amazon *cough*). Who isn’t about the good feels?!

Plus, at the end of the day, toting around an armful of reusable produce bags makes for a much more fun shopping experience. And, you will feel like an environmental BA (trust us).

“We already know that private sector innovation (with public support) accelerates the kind of rapid change we need, like nothing else.” – EarthDay.org

(Read more about how we're revolutionizing reusable produce bags.)

The ultimate goal: protecting our planet.

The Market Bags was established with a single vision in mind; eliminating single-use plastic bags. Our bags represent a small step towards a better tomorrow with a positive impact on our environment. Less plastic bags means fewer fossil fuels, which means a cleaner climate (and planet) overall (and, happier people, we hope!).

Reusable bags, in our minds, are a simple way we can do something - on Earth Day and every day. Won’t you join us in investing in our planet? 

Fresh, farmers market wrapped in The Market Bags reusable produce bags, including radishes with their greens, bread, and a pumpkin.

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