You Can't Win
Your massive tote bag collection is ruining the planet too, pal.
Canvas tote bags, the lynchpin accessory of any remotely green-minded shopper, may actually have a greater environmental impact than the king’s ransom of plastic bags you’ve stashed under the kitchen sink.
Here’s the logic, according to Noah Dillon in The Atlantic: A cotton tote requires hundreds of times more resources (read: carbon) to produce than a plastic bag — and is now, in practice, similarly disposable. They’re almost as ubiquitous as their much-loathed counterparts (unless you’re Ricky Fitts), and “tote bags that have been used very little (or not at all) can be found piled on curbs, tossed in trashcans in city parks, in dumpsters, everywhere,” writes Dillion.
Another reason your tote might suck: A Harvard Business School study suggested that shoppers who come striding into Whole Foods armed with their reusable bags might be more likely to reward themselves with fattening or otherwise unhealthy treats.
But all this obscures the real question we’re all struggling to answer, day in and day out: Do you ever feel … like a plastic bag?