Going Green: Turning Away from Plastic Bags
December 16, 2019
Laundry services are a dime a dozen wherever you are. And many actually deliver on their promise of clean, crisp clothes. However, being in the industry for as long as we have, we've come to understand that giving the best to the communities we serve doesn't just mean excellent customer service and topnotch quality of work. Everyone - maybe more so for those like us who are in the business of laundry service - has a responsibility to use more sustainable measures for the environment.
In going after our eco-friendly goal, one of the things that caught our attention was how widely used plastic bags are in the industry. We've since committed ourselves to using biodegradable garment bags because of the many reasons we'll tell you below.
And if you want to learn more about the different eco-friendly ways we do your laundry, you can always visit our laundromat in Danville.
How much plastic is out there?
Because it is cheap, relatively durable, and has a variety of applications, plastic use and production have grown exponentially in the past decades. Based on data by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, production of plastics in the US has increased from 390,000 tons in 1960 to 35.37 million tons in 2017, of which only 2.96 million tons or 8.36% were recycled. In addition, 26.82 million tons went to landfills where they are expected to remain without degrading for the next 500 years.
When it comes to plastic bags, Waste Management reports that Americans use 100 billion pieces of plastic bags each year. These bags are only used for 12 minutes on average. Meanwhile, it takes the equivalent of one mile worth of gas to produce 14 bags.
How does plastic affect the environment?
Plastics are harmful to the environment in a number of ways.
According to Forbes, because of the 270,000 tons of plastic floating around the world's oceans, various independent studies found plastic inside the guts of most sea birds, sea turtles, and even in some whales. Ingesting plastics can cause intestinal blockage, malnutrition, and poisoning from the digested chemicals present in the plastics.
Meanwhile, plastics dumped in landfills take over half a millennium to decompose. When they do, they still pose the risk of leaking contaminants to the water and soil. This further endangers both human and wildlife.
Plastic is also one of the products of fracking. The whole process has been found to pollute water, soil and air with toxins. Fracking can also cause underground cavities, sinkholes, and even earthquakes.
What can we do?
As you can see, plastic use is an endless cycle of pollution that harms the environment in every step. This is why, in our own small way, we've shifted towards the more sustainable option of biodegradable bags.
But we have a long way to go.
If you want to join us in our pledge to go plastic-free, you can do so by starting to reduce plastic use in your every day. Bring your own bags when you shop. Segregate your trash. Recycling is also an underutilized resource in the US. Talk to your local waste management experts and find out what else you can do.
And for all your eco-friendly laundry and dry cleaning needs, visit any of our locations near you. See you!