As most of my friends know, I'm not a big fan of plastic. I know, plastic is pretty much the 21st century building block but it unfortunately isn't very eco-friendly (ever hear of the massive islands of garbage in the gyres of the world's oceans?). Depending on the type of plastic and the environmental conditions, it can take hundreds of years for it to successfully biodegrade. For example, the typical one-use plastic bags used by most retail stores will last 10-12 years. Plus, evidence shows that the biodegradation of plastic not only releases gaseous carbon (greenhouse gas), but also harmful chemicals (including bisphenol A). The introduction of such chemicals into our ecosystem is slowly turning everything, and everyone, to plastic.
Envirosax. Founded by an Australian couple six years ago, Envirosax produces a range of reusable bags aimed at decreasing the use of conventional plastic bags. While they are moving production towards using natural materials and recycled plastic in their RPET series (up to 45% recycled material, mainly plastic bottles), most of their production are made using polyester (few exceptions like their organic series). It seems a bit hypocritical, but not when you look at the numbers; one Evirosax bag is equivalent to over 400 single-use plastic bags over the course of a year.
Another positive benefit of Envirosax is their design. The bags are made to be extremely portable, weighing only 1.4 ounces and folding into a petite 4" x 1.7". This means that people can bring their Envirosax with them everywhere without any 'I left it at home' excuse. Still, the bags have a 44-pound weight capacity and expand to nearly 20" x 17"! On top of that, they have a broad range of cool styles that will match even the most picky dresser. This means that you can use them for more than just grocery shopping; take them to the beach or mall, too.
Surfrider Foundation is one of their biggest beneficiaries. In fact, they are partnering with San Diego Coastkeeper to put on 'A Day Without a Bag' on December 16th that is aimed at reducing the use of traditional plastic bags.