As more consumers savvy up on sustainability, simple eco-friendly lifestyle changes go a long way toward creating a better future. Making the switch from plastic bags to reusable bags, for instance, can help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans — but is it enough?
When it comes to sustainability, “reusable” isn’t the only criterion.
Keep reading to learn why reusable bags aren’t always sustainable and where to find ones that are.
FiveADRIFT is on a mission to remove plastic from our oceans and to prevent more from going in. SHOP OUR OVERSIZED SIGNATURE TOTE BAGS and check out our SUSTAINABLE BEACH TOWELS HERE. 100% of our profits go to ocean cleanup projects.
What Are Reusable Bags Made of?
It’s no secret that plastic bags and single-use plastics are horrible for the environment. These plastics are typically discarded after being used for mere seconds or minutes. Plastic utensils, cups, and containers break down into microplastics, which are notoriously difficult to remove from the environment.
Flexible plastic bags often end up in streams, rivers, and ultimately, the ocean, where they are mistaken for food. As they float in water, plastic bags are virtually indistinguishable from jellyfish to the marine animals that feed on them. The results are devastating. For roughly 22% of sea turtles, ingesting just one plastic item means death.
Luckily, the law is catching up. As more states move to ban single-use plastics, reusable shopping bags are gaining popularity as an eco-friendly alternative. The only problem? They are often made of recycled plastic.
What Are Plastic Microfibers?
While recycling or “upcycling” plastic into reusable products increases its lifespan, it does little to curb our plastic problem. This is especially true for recycled plastic textiles, like towels, grocery bags, and tote bags.
Textiles shed fibers with use — especially when we wash them. Plastic textiles shed plastic fibers, which simply end up right back in our oceans. Plastic microfibers — fibers less than 5 mm long — are tough to spot, but they are often ingested by marine life, including fish. As a result, when we eat seafood, plastic ends up entering our own systems.
Cotton Canvas Reusable Bags
Here at FiveADRIFT, we have a two-fold mission. While we are fully dedicated to removing as much existing plastic from the ocean as possible, we need to acknowledge the importance of preventing more plastic from entering our environment. That’s why our products are made with a focus on eco-friendly materials and sustainability.
When it comes to reusable bags, materials matter. Those looking to bring their sustainability journey full-circle will want to look closely at what reusable bags and other textiles are made of before investing in them. All-natural, sustainably sourced materials are better for the planet — and better for us.
This approach might leave you wondering what we can do with all the plastic we remove from the environment. Modern innovations allow us to turn plastic into permanently fixed items, like building materials, furniture, and playground equipment. This presents an excellent opportunity to capture recycled plastic and extend its lifespan for long-term use. This makes plastic less likely to end up right back in the environment.
Our team is always on the lookout to create partnerships with organizations focussed on ocean health, like our friends at BlueSwell. We take our responsibility as environmental stewards seriously, which is why we’re tackling the problem of marine plastics from both sides.
Cotton Canvas Tote Bags
Rather than using recycled plastic textiles, our oversized signature tote bags are made with heavyweight 24 oz cotton canvas. Our cotton tote bags feature four interior water bottle pockets, an interior phone pocket, a stainless steel key clasp, and dual contrasting, reinforced striped handles.
FiveADRIFT products are designed to make a minimal impact on our planet. Take our towels, for example. FiveADRIFT HempCORE™ is a unique blend of hemp with traditional and organic cotton. Our towel textiles are all-natural, plastic-free, and ethically sourced to create environmentally friendly products.
Hemp is hardy and easy to grow and maintain. Because it does not require harsh chemical pesticides or fertilizers, hemp combats soil degradation and erosion, making it a popular rotation crop. As an added bonus, hemp uses less than a third of the water of other popular fiber crops.
When you invest in our eco-friendly cotton canvas tote bags, you help fight plastic pollution by helping us remove plastic from our oceans, all while ensuring you don’t contribute to the problem. Our tote bags are spacious, versatile, and ultra durable. From the grocery store, to the bookstore, to the beach — you can feel good about using our cotton canvas tote bags and plastic-free beach towels in your daily life (even when you wash them).
Find useful tips on how to use less plastic at the grocery store here.
When it comes to our environmentally friendly beach towels, HempCORE™ is lightweight, highly absorbent, and fast-drying. Our beach towels are made and loomed in Turkey, and their hemp components make them UV-resistant and anti-microbial. You can learn more about the benefits of hemp and hemp-based products here.
Eco-Friendly Tote Bags & Beach Towels
Become an earth hero when you shop eco-friendly tote bags and beach towels before you hit the beach this summer. Our planet is precious. By supporting sustainable brands, we collectively raise the bar on eco-friendly standards and encourage others to do the same.
FiveADRIFT is on a mission to remove 1 million pounds of plastic from our oceans in 2022. We are also fully dedicated to reducing the amount of plastic that makes its way into the environment in the first place. Our organization strives to operate single-use plastic-free, waste-free, and carbon-negative. 100% of our profits are donated to ocean cleanup projects working to remove plastic from our waters.
Our planet is precious. It’s up to us to protect it.