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To Bag or not to Bag ... are resuable bags truly green?

Considering the slogan "Go Green" and keeping in mind the Reusable Grocery Bags sold in markets everywhere; what are the pros and cons that you see in this latest trend? Give examples of the potential environmental impact. Please provide references to support this position.

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Interesting post in that our campus has recently adopted such a slogan (Blue + Gold = Green).

If we were comparing paper and "regular"(disposable) plastic bags, the issue is nearly moot as the sum of their impacts is nearly equal. see: (and if you hit the "news" tag on this site, you will find some truly amazing information about the impacts of disposable plastic bags)

However, in these days of reusable bags, there is no real comparison. Depending on the type, the bag can potentially last for decades (I personally have a cotton canvas "Safeway" bag that is over 10 years and still is usable) Also, the large majority of reusable bags are made from recycled materials - and thus represent a repurposing of ...

Solution Summary

Deals with economic and other societal aspects of reusable shopping bags around the world. Has attached HTML file with live reference links